Why Pregnant Women Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
On September 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an urgent health advisory recommending that women who were pregnant or planning to become so receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The alert was based on findings that not only do pregnant women who catch COVID have worse outcomes than non-pregnant women, they also put their pregnancies at risk.
More than 22,000 pregnant women across the country have been hospitalized with COVID and 161 have died, according to the CDC.
At the same time, as of mid-September, only 31% of pregnant Americans were fully vaccinated, compared to about 56% of all Americans.
Erika Werner is chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department and the Louis E. Phaneuf Teaching and Research Professor of Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is also physician-in-chief of obstetrics and gynecology for Tufts Medical Center. She spoke with Tufts Now about why pregnant women are more vulnerable to the virus, why she recommends the vaccine, and what she hears from her patients.