If you are pregnant, have recently given birth or might become pregnant in the future, the CDC is urging you to get a COVID-19 vaccination to help prevent serious illness, death and adverse pregnancy outcomes. That was the word today in an urgent health advisory from the CDC.
“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. “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.”
The CDC advisory strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy, noting that the benefits of vaccination for both the pregnant person and their fetus or infant outweigh known or potential risks. The advisory also calls on health departments and providers to educate pregnant people about the benefits and safety of recommended vaccinations.
Through September 27, there were more than 125,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pregnant people including more than 22,000 hospitalized and 161 deaths. Twenty-two of the deaths occurred in August alone. Pregnant people with COVID-19 have a two-fold risk of being admitted into intensive care; and a 70-percent increased risk of death. They are also at an increased risk of delivering their newborn prematurely, stillbirth, and of their child becoming infected with COVID-19, requiring admission into intensive care.
According to the CDC, only 31 percent of pregnant people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and vaccination rates vary markedly by race and ethnicity. Vaccination is highest among Asian people who are pregnant (45.7 percent), but lower among Latina/o/x pregnant people (25 percent), and lowest among Black pregnant people (15.6 percent). Learn more about COVID-19 recommendations for pregnant people.