Mom Who Lost Baby to COVID Says Vax Deniers Are Like 'Slap in the Face'

A Missouri woman who lost her newborn child last year after she contracted COVID-19 has said it's "like a slap in the face" when people say the vaccine is "a political issue" and the pandemic is a hoax.

Vanessa Alfermann, a COVID-19 nurse at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, told KMOV-TV: "I have family, I have friends that think this is not real, it's a hoax—even after knowing my story—that the vaccine is a political issue and it's definitely like a slap in the face to hear them saying this to me.

Alfermann got unwell with the virus in November 2020. Her husband also contracted the disease and she was 20 weeks pregnant at the time.

Around two weeks later on November 24, she woke up in the middle of the night, in labor.

"I just realized that this isn't just spasms, this isn't just something not to worry about, it was definitely labor, and I realized that something bad was going on," Alfermann told KMOV-TV.

She gave birth to her son, whom they named Axel, at just 22 weeks. But he died moments after being born. Doctors told her COVID-19 had caused a blood clot to form on the placenta that erupted.

"Doctors told me there was nothing I could do. Nothing [...] would have changed what happened, because I had COVID," Alfermann said.

"It's devastating because you have this goal after these nine months that you're going to have a little baby, a little boy to be yours, to take care of and to have it just stolen—it was devastating," she added.

Unvaccinated pregnant women have a higher risk of complications from giving birth during the pandemic, Dr. Asal Fathian, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, told the TV station.

"We're seeing some of our highest admissions with regards to pregrant women in our hospital related to complications related to COVID. And they're all unvaccinated individuals unfortunately," Fathian said.

"The best protection pregnant women have against these complications is getting vaccinated," she added. "We know it's a safe vaccine in pregnancy. Women do well with it, and it's just your best way of protecting yourself and your baby."

Weeks after her son died, as a health worker, Alfermann was one of the first people in the United States to get her vaccine, when they became available.

On Thursday, Newsweek reported that a Louisiana woman and her mother died of COVID-19 just one day apart.

Lacresanna Williams, 21, of Shreveport, was pregnant and tested positive for the virus during a routine checkup, reported local TV station KSLA.

The next day, she died after delivering her baby via emergency C-section. Williams' 42-year-old mother Victoria unknowingly contracted the virus and died the following day.

Neither of the women were vaccinated.

Anti-vaxxers in California
Hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters gathered in Los Angeles, California, City Hall August 14, 2021. A Missouri woman who lost her baby last year after she contracted COVID-19 has said it’s “like a slap in the face” when people say the vaccine is “a political issue” and the pandemic is a hoax. Barbara Davidson/Getty