Why Vaccines During Pregnancy Matter, From a Mom Who Opted Out

You may not want a shot. But you’re not the only one at risk.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Apr 2016
Woman getting a shot
Photo: iStock

Cormit Avital lives a healthy, active lifestyle. So when she unexpectedly contracted pertussis, or whooping cough, her symptomatic coughing was mild and she recovered quickly. The problem? She had just given birth. Baby Eva contracted whooping cough as well. And she’s been in the hospital for about a month.

Avital is sharing her story in a video for Australian organization Gold Coast Health, urging pregnant women to get the Tdap vaccination to avoid an outcome like Eva’s. You can watch the full video here.

“Being the healthy, fit, organic woman that I am, I said ‘Leave me alone. I don’t need this crap,’” Avital says, explaining she was offered the vaccine while pregnant. “Even me, the bulletproof lady who’s never been to a doctor and has traveled the world and felt healthy, got whooping cough. I got over it very quick; it was nothing for me. But [Eva] is into week four."

Eva is currently in intensive care. Avital describes the pain of watching her daughter suffer.

“They go red, and then they go blue, and sometimes they go black and you think they are dead in your hands,” she says. “They flop. [It’s] a lot of suffering for a tiny, cute little thing, that you love so much.”

The CDC recommends that women receive the Tdap, influenza and Hepatitis B vaccines during pregnancy. Plus, a new study found flu vaccination during pregnancy may reduce the risk of stillbirth.

The only vaccine moms-to-be should avoid is MMR because of the birth defect risk rubella poses. If a woman does need the MMR vaccine, she should wait until a month after receiving it to get pregnant.

“If I could turn back time, I would protect myself,” Avital says.

H/t Self.com

These Are the Best and Worst States for Vaccination Rates, Report Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/17/2020

Elmo Gets a Lesson In Vaccinations

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Devastated Mom Reflects on the Moment She Passed Whooping Cough to Her Baby

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/15/2017

AAP Recommends Kids Receive the Flu Vaccine ASAP

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
09/04/2018

Could Breastfeeding Make Baby's Shots Hurt Less?

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/28/2016

Second Baby Dies From Whooping Cough: What You Need to Know

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/19/2016

Watch Out for False Story About Vaccines and Breastfeeding

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/12/2017

Why a Mom Whose Kid Has Cancer Is Begging Anti-Vaxxers to Rethink Their Stance

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
11/27/2018

Mom Shares Video to Highlight Dangers of Whooping Cough

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
08/23/2016

CDC: Measles Cases Have Now Hit a More Than 25-Year High

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/31/2019

Anti-Vax Facebook Ads Are Targeting Pregnant Women, According to Reports

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
02/15/2019
Advertisement