coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

HELENA, Mont. - Those who are pregnant, recently pregnant or are trying to become pregnant are being recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says they are strongly recommending the vaccine before or during pregnancy due to the benefits of vaccination outweighing known or potential risks.

Compared to non-pregnant symptomatic people, those who are pregnant and symptomatic have more than a two-fold increased risk of requiring ICU admission, and a 70% increased risk of death the CDC reports.

On Wednesday, the CDC said that as of Sept. 27, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths.

In addition, the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in pregnant people in a single month of the pandemic was reported in August 2021.

In 2021, about 97% of pregnant people hospitalized with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were unvaccinated according to data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) the CDC said.

In addition to the risks of severe illness and death for pregnant and recently pregnant people, the CDC says there is an increased risk for adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.

As of Sept. 18, 31% of pregnant individuals were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy.

The CDC says healthcare providers should communicate the risks of COVID-19, the benefits and vaccination and information on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

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