Black Pregnant People Are Least Likely To Get Vaccinated, But Most At Risk

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The CDC issued an urgent health advisory for pregnant people to get vaccinated against coronavirus. That message is especially urgent for Black pregnant people, health experts say.

According to the agency's data, more than 125,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in pregnant people, 22,000 were hospitalized and 161 have died from the virus.

August was the worst month of COVID-19-related deaths among pregnant people, the CDC reported. Nearly all of them, 97%, were unvaccinated.

And while more Black people are getting vaccinated than before, pregnant non-Hispanic Black adults have the lowest vaccine coverage at 15.6% compared to 25% of Hispanic or Latino pregnant people, and 45.7% of pregnant Asian people.

"Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time –– and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.

"I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provide about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe," Walensky added.

Pregnant people are twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU for COVID-19 and are a 70% higher risk of death after being infected with COVID-19.

Given the public health issues around Black pregnant people's health that existed before the pandemic began –– being four to five times more likely to not survive child birth –– the health experts' message is particularly loud.

"We now have data that demonstrates that vaccines, in whatever time in pregnancy or lactating that they're given, are actually safe and effective and have no adverse events to [the pregnant person] or to baby," Walensky said.

"And we've actually seen that, in fact, some antibody from the vaccine traverses to the baby, and, in fact, could potentially protect the baby."

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancies, please click here.

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