The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing even harder for unvaccinated pregnant women to get their COVID-19 shot due to the severe health risks the delta variant may impose on them and their unborn children.
The warning comes after newly-compiled data from around the country shows that expecting moms are twice as likely to end up in the ICU and 70% more likely to die there. It’s a grueling recovery for moms who face a coma, ECMO machines, ventilators and the potential death of their baby due to premature birth.
Dr. Patrick Ramsey, the UT Health San Antonio Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, has seen these tragic cases for months now.
“In San Antonio, at least one pregnant woman was lost to covid-19 in pregnancy, and we’ve certainly seen a number of babies being delivered extremely premature,” Ramsey said, adding that a few babies have been lost just because the mom was so sick that they couldn’t safely deliver.
Worry about harming their reproductive health or that of their child, is often cited as the reason for vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women. Because the long-term effect of the new vaccines cannot be known yet, mothers to be are having to rely on the advice of their doctors.
The numbers tell the story. The CDC says 97% of pregnant women being admitted into hospitals in the U.S. are unvaccinated.
“We knew at least six to nine months ago that pregnant women had a higher risk for complications in pregnancy to be higher risk for admitted to the intensive care unit and higher risk for death. But now we have some actual numbers,” said Ramsey.
The new data from the CDC on this alert also shows that basically here in the United States, only 31% of pregnant women have been vaccinated so far. It’s a number that shocks doctors since it was months ago that the FDA said the vaccine is safe for pregnant women.