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CDC urges COVID vaccines during pregnancy as delta surges

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged all pregnant women Wednesday to get the COVID-19 vaccine as hospitals in hot spots around the US see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus.

Expectant women run a higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, including perhaps miscarriages and stillbirths. But their vaccination rates are low, with only about 23 per cent having received at least one dose, according to CDC data.

The updated guidance comes after a CDC analysis of new safety data on 2,500 women showed no increased risks of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The analysis found a miscarriage rate of around 13 per cent, within the normal range.

Although pregnant women were not included in studies that led to authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines, experts say real-world experience in tens of thousands of women shows that the shots are safe for them and that when given during pregnancy may offer some protection to newborns.

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