Advance Notice: Briefs

CDC strongly advises pregnant people to get a COVID-19 vaccine

By: - September 30, 2021 4:41 am

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a health advisory Wednesday recommending urgent action: People should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, before or during pregnancy.

That includes those already pregnant, trying to get pregnant and who might want to get pregnant, as well as recently pregnant people, including those lactating.

The advisory reported that “the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.” Those risks include serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and stillbirth.

The CDC data show that as of Monday, “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.”

At this juncture, many pregnant women are still not getting the vaccines.

“Although the proportion of fully vaccinated pregnant people has increased to 31.0% [as of Sept. 18, 2021],” the CDC reported, “the majority of pregnant people remain unprotected against COVID-19, and significant disparities exist in vaccination coverage by race and ethnicity.”

Vaccination coverage for pregnant people is lowest for non-Hispanic Black pregnant people, the advisory said.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can prevent severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19,” the report noted.

“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said in a statement Wednesday.

“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.”

A version of this story first ran in the Advance‘s sister outlet, the Florida Phoenix. Read it here.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.