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Thanks a million

One of the first pregnant women to get Covid vaccine wins 1 million Watts

Kevin Hoffman
September 24, 2021

A nurse who was among the first pregnant women to get the COVID vaccine has been chosen as one of 10 Californians honored for heroism during the pandemic.

Auben H. of San Juan Capistrano, received the vaccine in December 2020 when it was made available at the hospital where she works as a labor and delivery nurse.

“One of the wonderful things about getting any vaccine when you’re pregnant is a lot of those antibodies go straight to the baby,” Auben says. “And there’s also evidence that breastfeeding mothers share a lot of antibodies with babies.”

Auben was chosen as one of 10 “Thanks a Million” winners by OhmConnect, which rewards users for responsible energy usage. Although Auben had been using OhmConnect for five years, she was unaware her husband James entered her in the contest, which garnered more than 500 nominations for Covid heroes.

“I think right now she’s feeling kind of burnt out along with a lot of her colleagues, so anything recognition-wise really helps out right now,” James says.

Back when the pandemic first started, when most of us were still scrubbing home deliveries and staying home from work, Auben plunged right into unknown territory in the delivery room.

“The silver lining there is I could really empathize because they were scared and I was too,” Auben says. “We’re here, we’re going to do it, your baby’s coming, and you kind of just keep trucking on.”

James, who works in an office, says his wife looked like she was coming home from a war every day. He says he saw news of the contest in an email from OhmConnect and immediately thought of his wife, especially her bravery in getting the vaccine.

“She did it and was one of the first [pregnant] women to have done it, and kind of helped out with research and giving other women confidence to do it,” James says.

As for what they’ll do with the prize, the young parents of two recently bought their first house and are looking to get a smart thermostat and smart plugs.

“He and I are both environmentally conscious and try to do our part to decrease our carbon footprint a little bit,” Auben says.

Spoken like a true hero.

“Thanks a Million” winners received 1 million Watts, the equivalent of around $1500.

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