Another large study has been published that adds to the body of evidence that pregnant women who received had the COVID-19 vaccine have better outcomes for themselves and their babies. As I have written so many times, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for pregnant women.
As you can predict, I’m here to write about that article so that you have it ready when you need to convince a friend, a partner, a family member, or even yourself that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the right and best thing to do when pregnant.
COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women, the paper
In a large study published on 13 January 2022 in Nature Medicine, researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland tracked a cohort of women who were pregnant on, or became pregnant after, 1 March 2020. The databases included nearly 145,000 pregnancies in 130,000 women from March 2020 through October 2021.
Here are the key results:
- The cohort had 450 perinatal deaths (when the baby dies in the womb or during the newborn period), all occured with unvaccinated women.
- The rate of perinatal deaths within 28 days of a COVID-19 diagnosis was 22.6 per 1000 compared to the national rate (in Scotland) of 5.6 per 1000, or approximately 4 times greater risk of perinatal death.
- 77.4% of SARS-CoV-2 infections occured in unvaccinated pregnant women.
- 90.9% of COVID-19 associated hospital admissions occured in the unvaccinated group.
- 98% of COVID-19 related critical admissions occured in the unvaccinated group.
The study also found that vaccine coverage was substantially lower in pregnant women than in the general female population of 18−44 years — 32.3% of women giving birth in October 2021 had two doses of vaccine compared to 77.4% in all women in Scotland.
I don’t know how many studies this makes, but it’s just one more that shows COVID-19 is bad for pregnancy outcomes. And getting the COVID-19 vaccine is good for pregnancy outcomes.
Not being vaccinated while pregnant leads to at least a 4X greater risk of perinatal death. And compared to vaccinated pregnant women, unvaccinated pregnant women make up the vast majority who are sent to the hospital or critical care units as a result of the COVID-19.
And as shown in numerous studies, the COVID-19 vaccine is very safe for pregnant women.
The benefits to risk for the vaccine are overwhelmingly on the side of benefits, especially when you account for the risk that can be averted to your developing baby.
Please, if you are pregnant, get fully vaccinated.
- Stock SJ, Carruthers J, Calvert C, Denny C, Donaghy J, Goulding A, Hopcroft LEM, Hopkins L, McLaughlin T, Pan J, Shi T, Taylor B, Agrawal U, Auyeung B, Katikireddi SV, McCowan C, Murray J, Simpson CR, Robertson C, Vasileiou E, Sheikh A, Wood R. SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination rates in pregnant women in Scotland. Nat Med. 2022 Jan 13. doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01666-2. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35027756.