Pregnant women face higher odds of coronavirus infection, study says

Posted at 2:53 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 17:50:31-05

(WXYZ) — Pregnant women not only have a higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19, but they may also face a higher mortality rate, according to a new published study.

This is very concerning and all pregnant women really need to be vigilant and follow pandemic precautions. This study followed 240 pregnant women in Washington State, and when the researchers crunched the data, they found a 70% higher infection rate in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women in the same age group. Now, that’s a high percentage, but what was really surprising to me was the death rate. It was 13 times higher in the expectant mothers' group compared to the group of women who were not expecting.

The researchers found that the hospitalized pregnant patients were more likely to have an underlying condition or comorbidities, which are two or more medical conditions. Now the conditions that were listed included high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and autoimmune disease. The study also found that the pregnant women who died were women from communities of color and that pregnant women from minority ethnic groups had two to four higher rates for COVID-19.

So, should an expectant mother should get vaccinated? Right now, there is limited data because earlier studies didn’t specifically look at pregnant women. However, there were some women in these trials who did get pregnant and are being closely monitored. The good news so far is that there are no red flags. But I expect we’ll know more in the near future because Pfizer just kicked off its clinical trial, and they plan to enroll 4,000 pregnant women. In the meantime, the World Health Organization has said that only pregnant women who are at a high risk of getting infected or who might end up with a severe case should get vaccinated. Now I personally would recommend that expectant moms first talk with their doctor to review the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated. And as a reminder, everyone – including expectant moms - should do your absolute best to avoid infection – so wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance.

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