“The Delta variant is more infectious, and more often causes severe illness in pregnant women than our experience and prior data from Alpha variant infections.”
Local Area Physicians Urge Pregnant Women to Get Vaccinated.
Please proactively and enthusiastically advise pregnant women in your care to receive COVID vaccination, and apprise them of current risks of COVID infection during pregnancy. The Delta variant is more infectious, and more often causes severe illness in pregnant women than our experience and prior data from Alpha variant infections.
We are seeing increased COVID hospitalizations (some requiring ventilatory support) and preterm deliveries among pregnant women compared to prior surges. Preterm delivery rates are 30-50% among hospitalized pregnant women with COVID. Nationally, more cases of maternal and perinatal mortality from COVID and its complications are being reported.
Vaccination including the FDA-approved mRNA vaccination (example: Pfizer) is the best measure of protection against hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19 infection. Therefore, the approved Covid vaccines can reasonably be expected to decrease the progression to severe illness and the need for preterm delivery in pregnant patients infected with COVID. Vaccination also confers greater protection from COVID than prior infection and is of substantial benefit to women who have had prior COVID infection.
Please strongly encourage pregnant and lactating women to become fully vaccinated, receive a booster when eligible, mask-up indoors in public, socially distance, and frequently wash their hands.
Vaccination recommendations for pregnant women are well supported by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, and CDC. It is safe to receive vaccination at any time during pregnancy.
Miscarriage and infertility among reproductive age women are both common, and false attribution of these problems to vaccination is a confusion of coincidence with causation. There is no data or plausible mechanism that mRNA vaccination increases miscarriage or infertility. Please do not allow your patients to consume/believe this misinformation without hearing the scientific truth.
Conventional treatment of COVID infection including monoclonal antibody infusion should also be offered to pregnant women. Appropriate treatment “should not be withheld in the setting of pregnancy” (NIH). Pregnancy is an identifying criterion for high risk individuals who should be referred for anti-SARS-Cov-2 monoclonal antibodies.
Brandon Seagle, MD, Department Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Michael Edwards, MD, MFM, Regional Perinatal Center, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
William Sewell, III, MD, Medical Director of Women and Children’s Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
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