pregnant woman getting vaccine

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued stronger guidance to urge pregnant and breastfeeding women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, less than a third of pregnant women have received at least one dose. 

New data showed the risk of complications after receiving the vaccine was very low, but the danger of not being vaccinated was very high. Researchers found COVID-19 increased a number of complications for pregnant women including preterm birth.

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” says CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

The agency also stated that COVID-19 increased the risk of severe illness among pregnant women. That translates to a higher chance of hospitalization, intensive care and use of ventilators.

EVMS health experts want to make sure women know what could happen if they don’t get the vaccine.

“There is a disturbing amount of misinformation about the vaccine and that has not helped our efforts,” says Lea Porche, MD, Assistant Professor of EVMS Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “With the delta variant surging in this area, and across the country, it’s more important than ever to make sure pregnant women have the facts to make an informed decision about their health and the health of their unborn child.”

More than 20 health organizations have announced their support for the move including the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

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Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.