(WXYZ) — New research sheds light on how COVID-19 affects pregnant women.
The study took place in Scotland and researchers found expectant mothers who were infected and unvaccinated were more likely to suffer severe complications.
This study really shows how vaccines are protecting pregnant women. The scientists analyzed pregnancies in Scotland between March 2020 and Oct 2021. They found a total of 4,950 expectant moms with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
And guess how many were unvaccinated? 77.4% of them. And not only were unvaccinated pregnant mothers more likely to get infected, but 90.9% ended up hospitalized. Now we know COVID-19 can be rough on pregnant women. And this study also found that 104 expectant moms needed critical care, and of that group, 98.1% had not been vaccinated.
The further along the women were in their pregnancy, the higher the hospital admissions. Researchers found that in the first trimester, 6.7% of infections were associated with any hospital admission. But by the third trimester, the number of infections associated with any hospital admission jumped to 33.5%.
And when looking at preterm births, the scientists found 16.6% of expectant mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 gave birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. That’s a high number when compared with the general population rate, which is 8%.
As for your question concerning infant deaths, there were what’s called perinatal deaths, meaning right after birth or in the late stages of pregnancy. None of these deaths involved the expectant mothers who had been vaccinated. But for the expectant mothers who had chosen not to get the vaccine, there were 22.6 deaths per 1,000 births. That may not sound high, but these infant deaths were four times higher than the general population in Scotland.
Here in the U.S., about 42% of pregnant women are fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for people who are not only pregnant but also trying to get pregnant. And they say it’s also safe if a woman is breastfeeding too.
In my opinion, this study shows that getting vaccinated while pregnant is not only safe, but vaccines can help protect expectant moms from severe disease and help protect their growing babies as well.
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