All but 2% of pregnant women hospitalized in the UK with coronavirus have not been vaccinated, new research has shown.
The UK Obstetrics Surveillance System (OSS) data has sparked calls from medical professionals urging expectant mothers to get vaccinated. Of the 171 women treated for Covid-19 in UK hospitals in the past three months, only three had received a dose – and none were fully vaccinated.
England’s senior midwife officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, says the results of the data are “another powerful reminder that Covid-19 vaccination can keep you, your baby and loved ones safe and out of the hospital,” reports The Guardian.
Advice before the birth
On March 1st, 2020, 3,371 pregnant women with symptoms of Covid-19 were hospitalized. During the period when the delta variant was predominant – May 16 to July 11, 2021 – 45% of these women experienced moderate to severe infections, compared to the 24% reported in the first wave.
Speaking to Today on BBC Radio 4, lead researcher Professor Marian Knight said that while pregnant women were “inherently reluctant” to receive the vaccine when it was first offered, they are now surrounded by an abundance of “real world evidence.” “Can be“ calmed down ”. . On April 16, the Joint Vaccination and Vaccination Committee recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of the risk group, be vaccinated.
In the UK, more than 51,000 pregnant women have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to Public Health England. Of these, 40% received their second dose.
Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahawi also urged pregnant women to get vaccinated. “Serious illness from Covid-19 is rare, but more likely in a later pregnancy and infection increases the risk of premature birth,” he said.
The OSS data compared the alpha-dominant period – from December 1, 2020 to May 15, 2021 – and the delta-dominant period. The results showed that the risk of pregnant women developing pneumonia was 27.5% during the alpha phase compared to 36.8% in the delta. A third of women hospitalized during the Delta Period also required respiratory assistance.
In Brazil, where the proportion of cases attributed to the Delta variant rose rapidly in July, the Covid-19 death toll is the second highest in absolute terms, according to an analysis by the Financial Times. “Out of 100 pregnant women diagnosed with Covid, 12 die,” said Dr. Lilian Cristina Moreira. In comparison, the death rate of the population is 2.8%, the health expert found.
Experts point to a “strained health system, inadequate and unequal service provision and a lack of experience in the treatment of such patients”, which increase the risk for pregnant women, the paper goes on to say.
Vaccinations for pregnant women have been restricted since May following the death of an expectant mother who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, but Brazil’s Minister of Health announced the lifting of those restrictions earlier this month.
An expectant mother in the UK who was recently infected with Covid-19 told the i she was “nervous about doing anything that could affect this pregnancy” despite midwives warning that the virus could increase blood clots and premature births reinforced. Today’s news will likely calm those who are still suspicious of vaccinations.