In a Health Alert Network advisory issued Sept. 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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. CDC says it strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.
As of Sept. 27, 2021, 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. The highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in pregnant people (n=22) in a single month of the pandemic was reported in August 2021.
Data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) 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.
The CDC maintains that in addition to the risks of severe illness and death for pregnant and recently pregnant women, there is an increased risk for adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth and admission of their neonate(s) to an intensive care unit (ICU). Other adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth, have been reported. Despite the known risks of COVID-19, as of Sept. 18, 2021, 31.0% of pregnant women were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy. In addition, there are racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage for pregnant women. 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.
Read the alert at: https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2021/han00453.asp