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CDC Strongly Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine for Pregnant Americans

October 01, 2021

In a health alert this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended urgent action to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among those who are pregnant, recently pregnant, or who are trying to become pregnant in the future.

As of September 27, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths, the CDC said in its alert. The agency said it “strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.”

“Despite the known risks of COVID-19, as of September 18, 2021, 31 percent of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy,” the CDC said.

In its alert, the CDC noted:

  • COVID-19 is a risk factor for severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications
  • Health care providers can serve as critical sources of information to address vaccine hesitancy and combat misinformation
  • Although the absolute risk is low, the symptomatic pregnant population had more than a two-fold increased risk of requiring ICU admission, invasive ventilation, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and a 70 percent increased risk of death when compared to the non-pregnant symptomatic group
  • Significant disparities exist in vaccination coverage by race and ethnicity

HAP joins health care organizations across the nation encouraging everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The overwhelming majority of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Pennsylvania are from the unvaccinated population, according to recent reports. Appointments are available online.

The CDC recommends the following strategies for health care providers to provide education about the COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Understand your audience
  • Create tailored messages and materials
  • Get audience input and feedback

HAP will continue to monitor COVID-19 public health developments and provide updates to members.