Waiting on COVID-19 vaccination because you are pregnant creates unnecessary risks for you and for your pregnancy. That’s the focus of an emergency announcement recently from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It points to low vaccination rates among women who are pregnant, who are trying to become pregnant, and who want to get pregnant someday. Recent data showed that just 31% of pregnant women were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancies, despite the known risks.
The CDC notes with concern that women who were recently pregnant, including those who are breastfeeding, also are less likely to be vaccinated.
This advisory from the CDC Health Alert Network cites data showing that 97% of pregnant people hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated. In addition to the risks for women, the CDC notes that there is an increased risks for newborns and fetuses, including pre-term birth and admission to neonatal intensive care units.
If you are pregnant, considering becoming pregnant, or the mother of a newborn, I strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor about benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 versus the risks if you choose to go without.
Vaccines are recommended for pregnant women, those who want to become pregnant and mothers. There is currently no evidence showing that any vaccine causes fertility problems in women or men. Vaccines are safe, highly effective, free and widely available around Arizona.
Please visit azhealth.gov/FindVaccine to find a convenient vaccine provider and roll up your sleeve today.
Editor's note: Don Herrington is interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. This article is reprinted from a blog posted at: azdhs.gov.
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