Expecting Mothers Encouraged to Get COVID-19 Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it recommends urgent action to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among women.
The CDC issued a Health Advisory on September 29, 2021, strongly recommending COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of immunization outweigh known or potential risks.
The CDCHAN-00453 stated as of September 27, 2021, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant women, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths since the pandemic began in the USA during early 2020.
The CDC reported that in August 2021, the number of COVID-19-related deaths in pregnant women was 22. This was the largest number of deaths in a single month since the pandemic began. This CDC Advisory did not reveal the vaccination status or health comorbidities of these women.
However, data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network in 2021 indicate that approximately 97% of pregnant women hospitalized (either for illness or for labor and delivery) with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were unvaccinated.
Despite the known health risks of COVID-19, only 31.% of pregnant women were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy as of September 18, 2021.
In addition, there are racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage for pregnant women.
The CDC data indicates vaccination coverage is the lowest for non-Hispanic Black pregnant people (15.6%) as of September 18, 2021.
The CDC says 'healthcare providers should communicate the risks of COVID-19, the benefits of vaccination, and information on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.'
'Healthcare providers should strongly recommend that women who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future receive one of the authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.'
The CDC and U.S. FDA recommend COVID-19 vaccination for all people aged 12 years and older, including women who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to get pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future.
The U.K. and most European countries support the CDC recommendation.
However, thirty-one countries do not recommend COVID-19 vaccination for these women, reports Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC recommends addressing populations with lower vaccination coverage and using approaches to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. In addition, CDC recommends ensuring tailored, culturally responsive, and linguistically appropriate communication of vaccination benefits.'
In addition, 'pregnant women should continue to follow all recommended prevention measures and should seek care immediately for any disease symptoms, including COVID-19.'
Furthermore, 'healthcare providers should have a low threshold for increased monitoring during pregnancy due to the risk of severe illness.'
The CDC's vaccine committee recently posted a video on YouTube regarding Pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine.
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