The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that at present, fewer pregnant women are being vaccinated against COVID19 in the US as compared to women who are not pregnant. The agency has noted that the uptake of vaccines is significantly low among women who are in the age range of 18 to 24 years and those who belong to Black and Hispanic minority groups. Health officials have said enhanced outreach to health care providers and pregnant women might increase vaccine coverage and assurance that might bridge the gap in the rate of vaccination. The study has been done by officials from the CDC. The new report has looked at the health data of around 136000 pregnant women who have been taking treatment at eight health systems across the country. Experts have taken the data from medical records of pregnant women from Bloomington-based HealthPartners institute as well. The study has found that around 11.1 percent of women have been fully vaccinated against COVID19 from December 2020 to May 2021, as compared to 24.6 percent of non-pregnant women in the age range of 18 to 49 years who have taken the shot. Dr. Malini DeSilva, who is one of the co-authors of the study, has said that health officials need to spread awareness about the risk of COVID19 and severe infection among pregnant women.
Dr. DeSilva has said that the rate of vaccination is expected to shoot up as the availability of shots and access increase. As more safety data regarding the effects of COVID19 shots in pregnant women is available, it might influence more expecting mothers to take the shots. Since pregnant women have not been enrolled in the clinical trials of COVID19 shots, they are more hesitant to take the shots. Health experts are worried that vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women might reduce the overall rate of vaccination in the country. Dr. DeSilva has noted that there is a growing number of evidence that COVID19 shots are quite safe and effective among pregnant women. Women who are pregnant are at a greater risk of severe infection and death due to COVID19 as compared to non-pregnant women of reproductive age. However, experts have said that it is hard to assess additional risk. The authors of the study have said that COVID19 can shoot up the risk of preterm birth and other complications during pregnancy. Many studies have shown that pregnant women who have been vaccinated during pregnancy might transfer COVID19 antibodies to their newborns through the placenta and breast milk.
The authors of the study have said that health care providers who are treating pregnant women should discuss the benefits of vaccination with them and make them aware of safety and protection from COVID19. They have said that increased awareness about vaccination might lead to an increase in the rate of immunization in pregnant women. As per the latest, data around 17 percent of Asian women and 14 percent of white women who are pregnant have been vaccinated with two doses of COVID19 shot. While only 7.7 percent of Hispanic women who are pregnant have taken the shot. In addition, only 3.7 percent of black women have been vaccinated against COVID19. There has been 15.9 percent vaccination coverage among pregnant women who are in the age range of 35 to 49 years.
Among pregnant women who are in the age group of 25 to 34 years, the vaccination coverage has been 10.9 percent. There has been 3.1 percent vaccination coverage in pregnant women, who are in the age group of 18 to 24 years, said the experts. Experts have said that though vaccination coverage has been low among young women, broad access to vaccines has been available for a limited duration of the study period. This is the reason; study authors think that as access to vaccines has become easier, more women who are pregnant might have been vaccinated. It shows women’s growing comfort and confidence in COVID19 shots. An analysis of safety data emerging from vaccination among pregnant women has shown that there is no safety hazard linked to COVID19 shots for pregnant women.