CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — State officials are sharing new information learned throughout the year that shows a heightened risk for pregnant women who contract COVID-19.
According to the CDC, pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 have a doubled risk for ICU admission, invasive ventilation, and a 70% increased risk for death compared to non-pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19.
Additionally, more than 1.2 million births were studied from March 2020 to September 2021.
“Individuals were four times more likely to have stillbirth, especially after the emergence of the Delta variant,” said Dr. Denise Johnson, physician general for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“Fortunately, Scientifics have also proven that this is also a preventable problem because of how safe and effective the vaccines are for pregnant women,” said Dr. Chavone Momon-Nelson, a specialist with UPMC Pinnacle Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The CDC data shows vaccines and boosters prevent severe impacts on the mother’s health and adverse birth outcomes.
“It’s not just about us moms, it’s also about our baby,” said Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. “Studies also show that the antibodies mothers develop in response to these vaccines could protect our little ones.”
“Antibodies in your pregnancy can show up in the umbilical cord of your baby and provide protection for your baby as your baby is developing,” said Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson also said antibodies can present themselves in breast milk, providing protection for children before they can become vaccinated.
“The data suggests that receiving the COVID-19 vaccines outweigh any known or potential risk of vaccination during pregnancy,” said Dr. Johnson.
If you’re currently pregnant, it’s recommended you use the CDC’s “V-Safe Pregnancy Registry,” a smartphone based tool that offers personalized health check-ins and gathers information to share with healthcare providers and other pregnant women who are looking to get educated and make informed decisions about vaccination.
“We are pleading with you to get vaccinated or at least have a conversation with a qualified health care professional,” said Klinepeter.