Pregnant women should be vaccinated against COVID-19: Leading US OBGYN agencies

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Pregnant women should be vaccinated against the coronavirus, two leading obstetrician and gynecologist organizations recommended on Friday, especially as more infectious variants of COVID-19 continue to spread globally.

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Studies have shown that vaccines are safe for pregnant women, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine said, adding that they urge doctors to “enthusiastically recommend vaccination” to their patients.

“ACOG recommends that all eligible persons, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series,” the agency said in a statement.

“Obstetrician-gynecologists and other women’s health care practitioners should lead by example by being vaccinated and encouraging eligible patients to be vaccinated as well.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women who are infected with the virus are at an increased risk of severe illness compared to non-pregnant women.

COVID-19 puts pregnant women at risk of being hospitalized, put on a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, death, pre-term labor, and other pregnancy risks, the CDC said.

With more severe variants of the coronavirus like Delta and Lambda, the risk may be even higher.

Studies have also shown that pregnant women who wait to get vaccinated after their delivery may be exposing themselves to an increased risk of severe illness or death, CNN reported on Friday. Pregnancy lowers a woman’s immune system, making her more susceptible to illnesses like the coronavirus and the flu.

The Chief Midwifery Officer for England also recommended that all expectant mothers get vaccinated to protect themselves and their babies on Friday.

“COVID-19 poses significant risks to both mother and baby. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to becoming severely ill from COVID-19, and around one in ten pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 require intensive care. One in five pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 gives birth prematurely,” England’s top health officials said in a statement.

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