Experts ‘strongly encourage’ pregnant women to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 9, 2021 file photo, A nurse gives a shot of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to a pregnant woman in Montevideo, Uruguay. Two obstetricians’ groups are now recommending COVID-19 shots for all pregnant women, citing concerns over rising cases and low vaccination rates. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine said vaccinations in tens of thousands of pregnant women have shown the shots are safe and effective. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — Medical experts are urging that pregnant, postpartum, and lactating women receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) cite evidence demonstrating the safe use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from “tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months,” according to a press release from Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only about 22 percent of all pregnant individuals have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for women during all stages of pregnancy,” Adib Khouzami, MD, FACOG, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Physician, Conemaugh Health System, said. “Women who are considered pregnant should get the vaccine. It is our best line of defense against complications from the virus.”

ACOG reports that data shows COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at an “increased risk of severe complications and even death.”

SMFM adds that pregnancy is independently associated with a 3-fold increased risk for ICU admission, 2.4-fold increased risk for needed ECMO, and a 1.7-fold increased risk of death due to COVID-19 compared with symptomatic non-pregnant patients.

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