Infant. Credit: Wikipedia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a health advisory Wednesday recommending urgent action: Women should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, before or during pregnancy.
That includes women already pregnant, women trying to get pregnant and women who might want to get pregnant, as well as recently pregnant women, including those lactating.
The advisory reported that “the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.” Those risks include serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and stillbirth.
The CDC data show that as of Sept. 27, “more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths.”
At this juncture, many pregnant women are still not getting the vaccines.
“Although the proportion of fully vaccinated pregnant people has increased to 31.0% (as of September 18, 2021),” the CDC reported, “the majority of pregnant people remain unprotected against COVID-19, and significant disparities exist in vaccination coverage by race and ethnicity.”
Vaccination coverage for pregnant people is lowest for non-Hispanic Black pregnant people, the advisory said.
“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can prevent severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19,” the report noted.
“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said in a statement Wednesday.
“I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.”
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.