KEY POINTS

  • The unvaccinated mother never got the chance to hold her newborn before her demise
  • The woman's mother is now urging other pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • A GoFundMe page was set up for the woman’s surviving husband and three children

A 27-year-old woman in Atlanta, Georgia died of COVID-19 two weeks after she prematurely gave birth to her child last month.

Marrisha Kindred Jenkins was eight months pregnant when she was diagnosed by doctors with COVID-19 on Sept. 4 — just one month shy of her due date, WSB-TV/Channel 2 reported. The unvaccinated mother prematurely delivered her third child, Jaylen, on Sept. 7, according to the outlet.

Jenkins was reportedly not allowed to hold her newborn due to the coronavirus infection, and she did not get the chance to do so since she died two weeks later on Sept. 23 from complications brought about by the virus, a report by CNN said.

"We said she has some issues but I wasn’t expecting what happened to her," Jenkins' mother, Helena Kindred, said.

Jenkins was sent home after she started showing signs of improvement, according to People. She and her husband, Myles Jenkins, were preparing to see their son for the first time on Sept. 19 when she suddenly stopped breathing.

Myles called 911 and his wife was taken to the hospital, where she was placed on a ventilator. Marrisha's family later made the decision to take her off life support on Sept. 23.

The lack of oxygen to Jenkins' brain caused severe brain damage, her mother said.

Kindred urged other pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19 following her daughter's death.

"If she had been vaccinated, I truly believe she would not have died," Kindred said.

"My message is please, please, please get vaccinated... To me, it's important for you to do it for you and your baby," she told CNN.

A GoFundMe page was set up in hopes of raising money to help Myles, Jaylen, as well as Marissha's two other kids, Rylee, 6, and Ayden, 5. It exceeded its initial $5,000 goal and has now raised a little over $10,000 as of press time.

Pregnant Black women have the lowest vaccination rates in the country compared to other racial groups, as per data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Around 18% of pregnant Black women have been vaccinated, while Latino, White and Asian women have 28%, 35% and 48% vaccination rates, respectively. Meanwhile, the total vaccination rate for all pregnant women was 33%, according to the CDC.

Some unvaccinated Black pregnant women claimed that while they were not necessarily against the vaccine, they would rather get inoculated after giving birth.

"I'm not letting them stick something in my body and I don't know what the side effects are (on a pregnant woman)," 36-year-old Shannon Burton, of Philadelphia, said.

Some mothers claimed there was not enough research on the vaccine’s effects on pregnant women, according to Philadelphia-based doula Alexia Doumbouya. Others said they were not convinced the vaccine would protect them given the breakthrough cases caused by the Delta variant.

Getting vaccinated while pregnant will transfer antibodies to the developing baby, which will help protect it from COVID-19, research showed.

hospital-1802680_1920 Representation. Marrisha Kindred Jenkins was diagnosed with COVID-19 just one month before her due date. Photo: Pixabay