The CDC just published a report that women who have COVID-19 at delivery have an increased risk of stillbirth compared to women who do not have the disease. If this isn’t a good reason for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, I do not know what else to say.
This article will be very short because the published paper provided only three pieces of data that are convincing reasons why pregnant women should get the COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 stillbirth paper
In an article published on 26 November 2021 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), CDC researchers reviewed 1,249,634 delivery hospitalizations from March 2020 to September 2021 in the USA.
They found that women with COVID-19 at delivery were at increased risk for stillbirth compared with women without COVID-19 — an adjusted relative risk (aRR) = 1.90. In other words, women who contracted COVID-19 at delivery were nearly twice as likely to have a stillbirth.
However, the numbers are much worse when the researchers examined the risk before and after the Delta variant:
- In the “pre-Delta” time period, the aRR=1.47.
- In the Delta period, the aRR = 4.04, or there was over a 4X greater risk for stillbirth in women who were infected with the variant.
As I have written several times, the COVID-19 vaccines are extraordinarily safe during pregnancy. The CDC strongly recommends that pregnant women get the vaccine for their health and the health of their developing fetus.
I hope that these scary stats prompt any woman who is carrying a child to strongly consider getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The risk of harm to yourself or your developing child from the vaccines is minuscule — they will probably not cause harm to either of you. However, there is a growing body of evidence that COVID-19, especially the Delta variant (and probably the Omicron variant, although we don’t have a lot of data), can cause harm to both the mother and fetus.
Get the vaccine and protect yourself from this disease.
- DeSisto CL, Wallace B, Simeone RM, Polen K, Ko JY, Meaney-Delman D, Ellington SR. Risk for Stillbirth Among Women With and Without COVID-19 at Delivery Hospitalization – United States, March 2020-September 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Nov 26;70(47):1640-1645. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7047e1. PMID: 34818318.