Just over 15% of pregnant women in the U.S. have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Black and Hispanic mothers are up to four times less likely to have been vaccinated than white and Asian mothers. The CDC believes that vaccine hesitancy (or refusal) is likely caused by there being limited safety data available on the new vaccines. The MailOnline has the story.
Vaccination rates diverge significantly by race: 25% of Asian pregnant women and 20% of white women were vaccinated compared to 12% of Hispanic women and only six per cent of black women…
The CDC researchers expect vaccination coverage among pregnant women to increase as vaccine access continues to improve and more information on the shots’ safety becomes available.
When Covid vaccines went through clinical trials, they were not tested in pregnant or breastfeeding women despite their increased risk of severe illness or death.
Such a practice is common in clinical trials because researchers don’t want to risk the health of expecting women.
But it left these women with limited information on safety risks that the vaccines may have posed.
Regulators said the evidence on these vaccines did not raise safety concerns, yet without data specifically on pregnant women, they could not make guarantees.
Despite the limited data, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorised the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in early December, the agency said that pregnant women could choose to get vaccinated.
At the time, some scientists saw this as a major step forward for pregnant women – they could make their own healthcare decisions…
But the new data from the CDC suggest that many pregnant women in the U.S. chose not to get vaccinated, at least, not in the early months of the vaccine roll-out…
Why the low vaccination rate? The CDC researchers suggest that pregnant women may have been hesitant to get vaccinated due to the limited safety data available on the new Covid vaccines as well as potential access issues.
Older pregnant women were more likely to get vaccinated than younger women. Pregnant women between the ages of 35 and 49 had a 23% vaccination rate, compared to just a six per cent rate for ages 18 to 24.
Worth reading in full.