CDC: Physicians Should “Strongly Recommend” COVID Vaccine for Pregnant People
By Joey Berlin

In light of a low COVID-19 vaccination rate among people who are pregnant, and a recent high in COVID-19-related deaths among that population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking health care professionals to “strongly recommend” the vaccine to people who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.

A CDC health alert noted that as of Sept. 27, more than 125,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant people, including over 22,000 hospitalization cases and 161 deaths. The highest number of deaths in pregnant people related to COVID-19 thus far occurred in August, and federal data show about 97% of pregnant people hospitalized were unvaccinated.

“In addition to the risks of severe illness and death for pregnant and recently pregnant people, there is an increased risk for adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth and admission of their neonate(s) to an intensive care unit (ICU). Other adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth, have been reported,” CDC wrote in the alert. “Despite the known risks of COVID-19, as of September 18, 2021, 31% of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy. In addition, there are racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage for pregnant people.”

CDC is recommending “urgent action to help protect pregnant people and their fetuses/infants.”

“Efforts should specifically address populations with lower vaccination coverage and use approaches to reduce racial and ethnic disparities,” the agency added. “CDC recommends ensuring tailored, culturally responsive, and linguistically appropriate communication of vaccination benefits. In addition, pregnant people should continue to follow all recommended prevention measures and should seek care immediately for any symptoms of COVID-19. Healthcare providers should have a low threshold for increased monitoring during pregnancy due to the risk of severe illness.”

More information, including specific recommendations for health care professionals, is available in the CDC health alert.

Last Updated On

October 05, 2021

Originally Published On

October 05, 2021

Joey Berlin

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1393
JoeyBerlinSQ

Joey Berlin is associate editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area and attended the University of Kansas. He lives in Austin.

More stories by Joey Berlin