Pregnant Women Infected by COVID-19 at Higher Rate

By Reuters Staff

February 25, 2021

(Reuters) - Pregnant women become infected with the new coronavirus at higher rates than other adults, according to new data from Washington state.

Between March and June there, for every 1,000 pregnant women there were 14 cases of COVID-19, compared with 7 cases among every 1,000 non-pregnant adults aged 20 to 39, researchers found.

After accounting for other risk factors, the COVID-19 rate in pregnant women was 70% higher than in non-pregnant adults, according to a report in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Pregnant women in non-white racial/ethnic groups were particularly vulnerable. When compared to women in Washington State overall who delivered live births in 2018, the proportion of COVID-19 cases in pregnancy among most racial and ethnic minority groups during the pandemic study period was two to four times higher.

In addition, while people receiving medical care in a language other than English accounted for roughly 8% of the general population, they accounted for roughly 30% of the pregnant women with COVID-19.

Added to the fact that pregnant women with COVID-19 have higher rates of severe illness, the new study "strongly suggests that pregnant people should be broadly prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine allocation," the researchers concluded.

SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, online February 16, 2021.