Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/22/2021 --Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. The latest data continues to suggest the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
This safety data and recent data about the affect of COVID-19 on pregnancy, led to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issuing an urgent health advisory to strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for women who are thinking about getting pregnant, are currently pregnant, were recently pregnant, or are lactating.
The CDC reports cases of COVID-19 in symptomatic, pregnant people have a two-fold risk of admission into intensive care and a 70 percent increased risk of death, compared to non-pregnant people. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes that could include preterm birth, stillbirth, and admission of a newborn infected with COVID-19 into a neonatal ICU.
Other national organizations of women's health physicians, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine have also recommended pregnant women receive the COVID vaccine.
"What the CDC is describing are things that we're seeing in our own practice," said Dr. Sean Esplin, senior medical director for women's health at Intermountain Healthcare and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with Intermountain Medical Group.
"We've seen stillbirths. We've seen neo-natal deaths. We've seen pre-term births. It makes complete sense that as physicians and midwives, we should work hard to educate our patients about this data and encourage pregnant women to get the COVID vaccine."
"When we look at our numbers from July 1 through about the end of September, and look at (pregnant) people who are delivering in the Intermountain Healthcare system, we're finding that about only 24% of them have had a complete course of vaccination. About 4% of them have had only one dose," said Esplin. "We need to increase our vaccination rates of pregnant people in Utah to help prevent people from having COVID and associated pregnancy and fetal complications."
According to CDC data, the national vaccination rate of pregnant people is 31 percent and varies markedly by race and ethnicity. At 24 percent, Utah is below the national average for percent of pregnant people who are vaccinated.
The FDA and CDC have also given recommendation that pregnancy women receive an annual influenza vaccination, which can be received at the same time as the COVID vaccine.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine talk to your doctor or midwife who knows your specific medical history and can help provide you with the most current evidence-based information about the vaccine to help you with your decision or intermountainhealthcare.org/covid.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,700 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit intermountainhealthcare.org. For helpful advice for expectant moms and new parents, see Intermountain Moms online or follow us on www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms, www.instagram.com/intermountainmoms, or https://twitter.com/IntermtnMoms.