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CDC urges COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

CDC urges COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an official health advisory, encouraging COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant and lactating Americans, as well as those considering pregnancy.

According to CDC data, only 3% of pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and vaccination rates vary markedly by race and ethnicity. Pregnant Asian Americans have the highest coverage (45.7%), while only 15.6% of Black pregnant women are vaccinated.

“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time—and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH. “I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.”

As of Sep 27, the CDC has tracked 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in pregnant women, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths. Last month, 22 pregnant women died from COVID-19—the most so far in the pandemic.

In total the CDC COVID Data Tracker shows 55.8% of Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 64.4% have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Yesterday the United States recorded 114,395 COVID-19 cases, including 2,026 deaths, according to the New York Times.

No concerning side effect after third Pfizer dose

Yesterday the CDC published a study in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of third Pfizer dose recipients, which showed side effect profiles were similar to those seen after the second dose in the primary vaccination series.

The study was based on results from 306 Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial participants who got a third booster dose from Aug 12 to Sep 19. The authors said 79.4% and 74.1% reported local or systemic reactions, respectively, after the third dose; 77.6% and 76.5% reported local or systemic reactions after the second dose, respectively.

The most common side effects reported were injection-site pain (171.0%), fatigue (56.0%), and headache (43.4%). Approximately 28.3% of participants said they were unable to perform normal daily activities, most often on the day after vaccination.

Shifting attitudes toward vaccines

Two new polls show the shifting—and still hesitant—attitudes among some adult Americans toward COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccinated adults over 50 are far more worried about the coronavirus than the unvaccinated and are far likelier to take precautions, according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 

And, according to the latest Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index, 44% of parents with children between the ages of 5 and 11 said they are likely or somewhat likely to get their children vaccinated, while 42% said they’re unlikely to do so.

But more employees are reporting success with vaccine mandates. United Airlines said yesterday that nearly all of its US-based employees have been vaccinated, the Washington Post reports. United was the first US airline to require its workforce to be vaccinated.

North Carolina-based Novant Health, a healthcare system of 15 medical centers and more than 35,000 employees, said this week that 99% of its workforce had complied with its vaccine mandate, CNN reports. Roughly 175 employees were terminated for non-compliance.

Yesterday, Ford became the second Detroit automaker to ask its salaried employees to reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status, Reuters reports.

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