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SHREVEPORT, La. -- While most Americans are still waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some moms-to-be are worried about possible side effects to their unborn children.

The topic came up during a recent webinar hosted by LSU Health Shreveport. Dr. John Vanchiere, a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases, was asked about the impact of both the vaccine and the virus itself.

Citing the available data, Vanchiere says pregnant women don't have any worse symptoms if the get COVID-19. But like the flu or other viruses, it could lead to pre-term labor and other complications.

"They're not severe consequences of infection for the baby, per se," said Vanchiere. "There are not malformations or anomalies that occur because of the virus, like some of the other viruses we've dealt with over the past decade."

Unfortunately, Vanchiere says there's not a lot of data available yet when it comes to the impact of the vaccine. He encourages pregnant women to keep wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and wash their hands frequently to reduce their chances of contracting COVID-19.

If you're expecting, you can also talk with your doctor about the risks versus benefits of getting the shot.

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