Katie Leeming, a 22-year-old who lives in Kirkham, chose not to get vaccinated against COVID during her pregnancy. Her decision was based on the belief that there was ‘not enough research done into the impact of the vaccine during pregnancy.’
Unfortunately, her seemingly smooth pregnancy suddenly plunged into chaos and uncertainty when she got infected with the virus while 25 weeks pregnant. 7 days after she found out, she realised that she could no longer feel her baby move and when she contacted Blackpool Victoria Hospital the staff told her that they would have to deliver her baby early through an emergency cesarean-section.
The baby, who was named Ivy-Rose, was born on October 13 and weighed just under 1 kg. Her premature birth came with its own set of raging complications, and she was quickly transferred to a neonatal care unit after doctors found that she was suffering from a pulmonary and brain haemorrhage. Five days later, she tested positive for COVID as well. Leeming told the i:
We got a phone call on the evening of day eight saying we needed to get to the hospital as they didn’t think Ivy-Rose was going to make it through the night.
They took her hand and footprints for her memory box and Ivy-Rose died on 22 October at 1.30am. We were absolutely heartbroken and it still hasn’t sunk in.
Ivy Rose is one of the youngest who has died from COVID in the UK.
The mother is certain that if it wasn’t for COVID, her baby girl would have survived. However, she also says that she doesn’t regret refusing the vaccine. She added:
I can’t start thinking that way as who knows what might have happened if I had the vaccine and I might still have got Covid and become ill.
Leeming is not the only expecting mother who has chosen to turn down the vaccine. In fact, hesitancy amongst pregnant women is a growing concern in the UK. Even though the government, and several health authorities including the NHS and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have relentlessly assured expectant mothers that the jab is safe, many of them are still not convinced.