According to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than one-third of pregnant women in the United States are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 125,000 confirmed cases of the virus were reported among those pregmant, of which 22,000 required hospitalization and 161 died, including 22 deaths in August alone. Pregnant women who experience illness, with symptoms, are twice as likely to be admitted to a hospital intensive care unit and 70% more likely to die from the disease.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in a press release: “Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time — and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families. I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.” CDC research found that the COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are all safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Given this evidence, the CDC issued an urgent health advisory last month to increase COVID-19 vaccination among those who are pregnant, recently pregnant, trying to become pregnant or who might become pregnant. Vaccination can help prevent serious illness, deaths and adverse pregnancy outcomes caused by COVID-19.

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