Approximately 22,000 women were hospitalized due to complications associated with novel coronavirus infections; among those women, 161 died. In comparison, non-pregnant patients were twice as likely to require admission to the ICU and 70 percent more likely to die than their pregnant counterparts.
COVID-19 Pregnancy Risks
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2021 found that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 were twice as likely to die during their pregnancies as uninfected women. The researchers studied data from U.S. hospitals and found a death rate of 141 deaths per 100,000 women with COVID-19, compared with 5 deaths per 100,000 uninfected pregnant women.
Clinical Infectious Diseases found that infections caused by the organism COVID-19 were associated with acute respiratory distress, mechanical ventilation, stroke, and heart attack, causing nearly three times as many premature deliveries as other infections.
Conflicting recommendations from researchers and the long-term nature of vaccine studies have given pregnant women reason to be cautious about the safety of the new COVID-19 vaccine.
Although clinical trials did not include pregnant women, hundreds of thousands of women have received the vaccine while they were pregnant in real-world cases that show the benefits of vaccination and the risks of congenital defects from COVID-19 infections among unvaccinated women.