The country’s leading health agency on Wednesday implored all Americans who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant to get a coronavirus vaccine. Less than one-third of pregnant women have received coronavirus vaccines before or during their pregnancies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s even lower for Black women, of whom only 15% are vaccinated.
COVID-19 poses a serious risk to women who are expecting since they are vulnerable because of pregnancy’s dampening effect on their immune system, experts say.
“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time, and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for family,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says in the agency’s urgent plea. “I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their health care provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.”
Last month alone, 22 pregnant women died of the coronavirus in the United States, bringing the total number since the beginning of the pandemic to 161.
About 125,000 pregnant women have tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic, including 22,000 who were hospitalized, the CDC says.
The risks are not only to the mothers. The virus also raises the chances of