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CDC “strongly recommends” COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant people

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they ‘strongly recommend’ COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy, and he called for “urgent action” to increase immunization rates as COVID cases and deaths increase among mostly unvaccinated pregnant Americans.

The CDC says there have been more than 125,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 who have been hospitalized, and 161 deaths. About 97% of pregnant people hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infections have not been vaccinated, according to unpublished figures taken from the agency’s COVID-NET surveillance data.

The alert follows the agency’s decision over the summer to strengthen his recommendation that people who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant get vaccinated against COVID-19, citing a growing body of evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to protect vulnerable parents and their newborns.

But CDC data suggests more than two-thirds of pregnant Americans are still not vaccinated against COVID-19, with even lower vaccination rates among those who are Hispanic / Latino or black. The CDC has struggled for months to increase immunization rates among pregnant Americans, even as the COVID-19 toll in that group has climbed.

COVID-related deaths among pregnant Americans jumped to 22 in August amid the wave of Delta variants, the highest number reported in a single month since the start of the pandemic.

“We know that pregnant people with COVID-19 can get very sick. Some will die and many will experience pregnancy and newborn complications. We know that because of COVID, some children will grow up without their mothers.” Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman said earlier this month, during a presentation to the outside panel of the agency’s vaccine advisers.

Meaney-Delman said the CDC plans to step up efforts to improve immunization coverage among pregnant people, including sharing personal stories of families, to dispel myths related to safety or fertility.

“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. If you are pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now or could become pregnant in the future, please get the vaccine,” Meaney-Delman said. . Tens of thousands of pregnant women have now been safely vaccinated, and research found that there is no increased risk of miscarriage.

Maeney-Delman told the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that the data on the injections also suggested that there was no reason to believe that the safety risks posed by a booster injection were different, but acknowledged that it was “premature to offer specific recommendations for pregnant women” on boosters.

Additional studies initiated by the National Institutes of Health and others are underway to collect and publish “robust prospective clinical data” on vaccine use in pregnant people. But health experts say a lot of data already collected from clinical trials and the real world – including from many American women who have become pregnant and delivered safely after being vaccinated – shows that it doesn’t work. There is no basis for claiming that vaccines are dangerous for expectant parents and newborns or pose a risk to those trying to become pregnant.

Over the summer, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said she personally intervened to ask the New England Journal of Medicine for permission to expedite the publication of the results of an upcoming study that did not found no data to suggest an increased risk of pregnancy loss after vaccination.

“One of the things that I wanted to do and look to do is reach out to journal editors and say, ‘I know you have an embargo date, I know you have a press date. , but we need to let the public know, ”Walensky said at a virtual event hosted by the National Public Health Information Coalition last month.

“And what’s been so inspiring is that the mission that we have is similar to the mission that they have, and they have consistently said, ‘OK, take it out. “”