Many Pregnant Women Die from COVID-19 in the Americas
Warning that COVID-19 represents a serious risk for pregnant women in Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne urged countries to prioritize expectant and lactating mothers for vaccination.
“We know that if pregnant women get sick.... they have a risk of developing serious COVID symptoms,” she said during her weekly PAHO press briefing on September 8, 2021.
More than 270,000 pregnant women have become sick with COVID in the Americas during the pandemic, and more than 2,600 have died from the COVID-19 since early 2020, says the PAHO.
Furthermore, the U.S. CDC reported (155) pregnant women (vaccination status undisclosed) have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic through September 13, 2021.
The problem is particularly acute in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, which account for about half of all COVID deaths among pregnant women in the PAHO.
While new infections are declining in the Caribbean, COVID-19-related deaths are increasing on many islands, including Sint Marteen, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and COVID-19 infections are rising in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize.
“The PAHO recommends that all pregnant women, after their first trimester as well as women who are breastfeeding, receive a COVID-19 vaccine," added Etienne.
Dr. Etienne reported about 28% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Medicines Agency say 'COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all 12 years and older women, including pregnant women, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.
As of September 9, 2021, just twenty-nine countries worldwide do not recommend pregnant women receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the COVID-19 Maternal Immunization Tracker, produced by Johns Hopkins University.