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.

Vaccine Hesitancy

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.

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