The CDC is “urging” those who are pregnant and breastfeeding to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Since August (when Covid-19-related deaths reached a record high) the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged both pregnant and breastfeeding individuals to get vaccinated against the virus.
The CDC has reported vaccination rates among pregnant people relatively low, with the CDC reporting just 31% of pregnant people are fully vaccinated either before or during pregnancy.
“The CDC recommends urgent action to increase Covid-19 vaccination among people 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,” the agency said in new guidance released Wednesday.
“[The] CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.”
Over 125,000 pregnant people had been confirmed to have Covid-19 as of Sept. 27, according to the CDC. And of those, 22,000 have been hospitalized and 161 have died.
Back in August, Covid-19-related deaths in pregnant people reached the highest number seen for a single month since the pandemic started and 22 pregnant people died as a result of the virus.
“Although the absolute risk is low, compared with non-pregnant symptomatic people, symptomatic pregnant people have more than a two-fold increased risk of requiring ICU admission, invasive ventilation, and ECMO, and a 70% increased risk of death,” the CDC said.
“Pregnant people with Covid-19 are also at increased risk for preterm birth and some data suggest an increased risk for other adverse pregnancy complications and outcomes, such as preeclampsia, coagulopathy, and stillbirth, compared with pregnant people without Covid-19.”
This past Tuseday, Dr. Rachelle Walensky pointed to studies as well as real-world data that reveal how the vaccines provide crucial benefits to pregnant people with very few safety concerns.
“We are fortunate now to have extraordinary safety data with all of these vaccines,” Walensky said. “We now have data that demonstrates that vaccines in whatever time in pregnancy or lactating that they’re given are actually safe and effective and have no adverse events to mom or to baby. And we’ve actually seen that, in fact, some antibody from the vaccine traverses to the baby and, in fact, could potentially protect the baby.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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