Tragically, baby Axel did not survive, and now Alfermann, who is a nurse, is speaking out, encouraging expectant mothers to get vaccinated.
“It was devastating to lose Axel. It still is. I call him my missing piece,” Alfermann told NBC.
“They send you home and you have to start over. I was stuck in bed. I didn’t talk to anyone – I just was in complete depression,” she said.
Covid-19 increases pregnancy risks, leading to pre-term births, and vaccines are safe for pregnant individuals, new studies show. https://t.co/oMSCKyuZtr
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 21, 2021
Alfermann contracted COVID-19 just before the vaccine became available to healthcare workers in the US, so she did not have the option of getting vaccinated.
But the vaccine is widely available now, so expectant mothers should not delay, she said.
“I wish I could’ve gotten the shot six weeks earlier and my son would be here, but I couldn’t,” she said.
“Others have that chance, though, and they can have their baby and be there for their baby.”
Alfermann hopes her experience might prevent others from suffering a similar tragedy.
“I just want Axel’s legacy to be one that helps save someone, helps them get the vaccine, so that this never happens again,” she said.
Alfermann reportedly said it has been traumatising to see vaccine misinformation spreading in the community, especially when she has endured such loss from the virus, and she sees the suffering in her work on the COVID-19 ward at Missouri Baptist Medical Centre in St Louis in the US.
“To be honest I’m pissed off,” she told NBC.
Vaccine safe for pregnant women
Research has shown the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant women.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation have recommended that pregnant women be offered the Pfizer vaccine.