Many past studies have found that pregnant women from racial and ethnic minorities might be at a greater risk of severe side effects due to COVID19 infection. They are at a higher risk of death as well due to COVID19. Since many companies have come up with their vaccines, people have thought it will be the end of the pandemic. However, now we hear that pregnant women have not been included in the most prioritized populations who will be getting the first dose of the vaccines in upcoming weeks. Health authorities have said that pregnant women have not been included in the list of most prioritized people as they have not been a part of the clinical trials of these vaccines. Health officials have said that pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive need to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe, as they will not be vaccinated until it is clear which vaccine candidates are safe and effective for them and their babies.
A study done by experts from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that expecting moms are at a higher risk of being admitted to the intensive care unit after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 virus leads to COVID19 disease. The study has said that pregnant women are at an increased risk of death as well due to the disease. Racial disparity in access to care aggravated the problem further said the experts. As per the report, pregnant Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with COVID19. At the same time, Black women who have been diagnosed with the disease are at a higher risk of severe side effects of COVID19 irrespective of being pregnant or not being pregnant as compared to the general population. Hispanic women as well are more likely to lose their life due to COVID19 infection as compared to white women regardless of their pregnancy status. Despite being in the high-risk category, these people have not been included in the list of most prioritized people to get the vaccines first.
The CDC officials have said that healthcare workers and nursing home residents are on priority when it comes to vaccine distribution. Vulnerable people like elderly citizens and people with underlying conditions will fall second in line and young adults and children who are considered to be in the low-risk category will be last to get the vaccines. Health experts have said that they are unsure how the vaccine will affect the future babies of pregnant women, as such women have not been a part of clinical trials of any vaccine candidates. In the past, pregnant women have not been included in clinical trials of flu vaccines as well. However, the flu vaccine has been considered safe after years of analysis of those pregnant women who have received the vaccine without knowing their pregnancy status. Experts have said that it can be carried out in the case of the COVID19 vaccine as well. The data can be gathered from the women who have participated in the clinical trials of the vaccines without knowing their pregnancy status or when they have received the vaccine as a part of a prioritized group. A report has found that women contribute to 75 percent of the healthcare worker population. At the same time around 330000 women, healthcare workers are currently pregnant. Considering the statistics, most of the healthcare workers will not be able to get the shot despite being in the prioritized group.