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Investigation underway into the deaths of eight pregnant Mississippi women who had COVID-19
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In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman waits in a food pantry line at St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Mass., for people in need of groceries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AP Photos-Charles Krupa

Health officials in Mississippi have announced the state’s seventh pediatric death linked to the coronavirus. They are investigating the deaths of several pregnant women who recently succumbed to the disease.

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Children are not immune to the coronavirus, and those under the age of 12 are ineligible to get a coronavirus vaccine at this time. State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says parents need to enact measures to protect their children from the disease like wearing masks in public.

Dr. Byers says “It’s gonna be important for us moving forward to make sure that we keep those children as safe as possible. Certainty vaccination of those adults and those eligible members of the household is one of the best ways to keep the children safe.”

The coronavirus can also have a harsh effect on pregnant women and has doubled the state’s rate of fetal demise according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. Within the last several weeks, eight pregnant women died from the coronavirus in Mississippi, and Dr. Dobbs says they were all unvaccinated.  

“Vaccines and antibodies are approved and recommended for pregnant women,” says Dr. Dobbs. “Please know, the CDC, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the American College for OBGYNs strongly support vaccinations for pregnant women. This is something that we can do to save multiple lives at one time.”

Dr. Dobbs says raising the state’s vaccination rate could be pivotal in the next few weeks to help keep children safe from the coronavirus and in classrooms.