The risks of COVID-19 infection for unvaccinated pregnant women
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
COVID-19 is a virus that could linger for a long time following infection with several known and still unknown, long-COVID symptoms. While individuals of any population must confront these risks, pregnant women may face more significant dangers.
Although the COVID-19 vaccinations have long been deemed safe and effective during pregnancy, reducing the increased risks pregnant women are exposed to if they are vaccinated, evidence continues to accumulate supporting vaccination for pregnant women and their newborns.
In a report from Scotland, among 4,950 pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 infection, 75% were unvaccinated. In this same report, 91% of the 823 hospital admissions were also unvaccinated. Furthermore, the death rate for infants born within 28 days of their mother’s COVID-19 diagnosis was also astonishingly higher.
Pregnancy makes women more vulnerable to infection because the body is already immunosuppressed to tolerate a fetus, along with an extra burden on the heart and lungs. COVID-19 vaccination protects them and is known to protect the baby since the post-shot antibodies are shown to cross the placenta.
For these reasons, the scientific community continues to encourage all pregnant women to get vaccinated if they have not done so yet.