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Pregnant women strongly urged to get the covid vaccine by CDC and medical experts

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(Good Things Utah) – When pregnant women are unvaccinated and have symptomatic COVID, they’re twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU and at increased risk for fetal complications.

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. The latest data continues to suggest the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

This safety data and recent data about the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy, led to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issuing an urgent health advisory on Sept. 29 to strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for women who are thinking about getting pregnant, are currently pregnant, were recently pregnant, or are lactating.

The CDC reports cases of COVID-19 in symptomatic, pregnant people have a two-fold risk of admission into intensive care and a 70 percent increased risk of death, compared to non-pregnant people. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes that could include preterm birth, stillbirth, and admission of a newborn infected with COVID-19 into a neonatal ICU.

Other national organizations of women’s health physicians, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, have also recommended pregnant women receive the COVID vaccine.

“What the CDC is describing are things that we’re seeing in our own practice, said Sean Esplin, MD senior medical director for women’s health at Intermountain Healthcare and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with the Intermountain Medical Group.

“We’ve seen stillbirths. We’ve seen neo-natal deaths. We’ve seen pre-term births,” It makes complete sense that as physicians and midwives, we should work hard to educate our patients about this data and encourage pregnant women to get the COVID vaccine,” he added.

“When we look at our numbers from July 1 through about the end of September and look at (pregnant) people who are delivering in the Intermountain Healthcare system, we’re finding that about only 24% of them have had a complete course of vaccination. About 4% of them have had only one dose,” said Dr. Esplin.

We need to increase our vaccination rates of pregnant people in Utah to help prevent people from having COVID and associated pregnancy and fetal complications.

According to CDC data, the national vaccination rate of pregnant people is 31 percent and varies markedly by race and ethnicity. At 24 percent, Utah is below the national average for percent of pregnant people who are vaccinated.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine talk to your doctor or midwife who knows your specific medical history and can help provide you with the most current evidence-based information about the vaccine to help you with your decision or visit Intermountain Healthcare.

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