Though health officials have been saying vaccines are safe for pregnant women, the CDC took things further by recommending inoculation for pregnant women, claiming they have found no heightened health risks.
Only 23% of pregnant women have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine as of July 31, according to CDC tracking data. Vaccination rates have been lagging across the country as health officials and the White House have tried urging more Americans to get inoculated in the face of the more transferable delta variant.
“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”
In its advisory, the CDC stated that pregnant women and those who have just given birth are especially vulnerable to complications stemming from Covid-19.
“Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people,” the CDC said.
The CDC looked at approximately 2,500 women who have received the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine – Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech – before 20 weeks of pregnancy and have found no health complications. Health officials argued the vaccine does present an obvious risk to mothers or the babies.
Miscarriage rates for instance are typically between 11-16%, and miscarriage rates for the women studied who received vaccines ended up being 13%, according to research cited by the CDC.
Sascha R. Ellington, an epidemiologist who leads the emergency preparedness response team in the division of reproductive health at the CDC, argued to ABC News that “theoretical risks” from a vaccine do not outweigh the increased risk of health complications if someone contracts the virus while pregnant.
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