The CDC recently released an advisory urging people who are pregnant to get their COVID-19 vaccination. They also advise those who were recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), trying to become pregnant now, or may want to become pregnant in the future to get their COVID-19 vaccination.
This advisory hopes to prevent severe illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It comes after many expectant parents became seriously ill or died after contracting COVID-19.
In the CDC health advisory, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated before or during pregnancy because vaccination benefits both the pregnant woman and the fetus or newborn. In addition, the advisory encourages health departments and clinicians to educate pregnant women about the benefits of vaccination and the safety of recommended vaccines.
In the United States, only 31% of pregnant women are immunized against COVID-19, and vaccination rates differ significantly by race and ethnicity. For example, the highest vaccination coverage rate was found among pregnant Asians at 45.7%. However, studies show the lowest vaccination rate was found among Hispanic and Latino women (25%) and Black women (15.6%).
As of September 27th, there were more than 125,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pregnant women, including 22,000 hospitalizations and 161 deaths, including 22 in August alone. The risk of admission to intensive care in symptomatic pregnant women with COVID-19 doubles, and the death rate is 70% higher. In addition to preterm birth and stillbirth, pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk of maternal and neonatal complications, including admitting the newborn infected with COVID-19 into the NICU.
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