COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant women remains low despite severe risk

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COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant women remain low this month despite the risk of severe illness from the disease. 

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that only around 31% of those who are pregnant – from ages 18 to 49 – have received a dose of the vaccine.

In addition, just over 15% of pregnant Black women are fully vaccinated and just shy of 14% have received at least one dose.

In total, 185.3 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated and more than 77% of adults have received at least one shot. 

Pregnant people and those who are recently pregnant are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 than non-pregnant people.

Having underlying medical conditions and other factors – including being older than 25 and being part of some racial and ethnic minority groups – can further increase that risk.

Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at increased risk for preterm birth and might be at increased risk for other negative pregnancy outcomes.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. 

“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families. I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

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