Corona infection is so dangerous for pregnant women – and the child
Corona infections during pregnancy can pose a risk to both mother and child. Nevertheless, many pregnant women still shy away from injections. A new study from Scotland shows the fatal consequences this can have.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? A decision that many pregnant women still find difficult. They fear that the vaccination could damage their unborn child’s health. It has now been proven that it is not the vaccination, but a corona infection during pregnancy that can become extremely dangerous for mother and child. How important immunization is for expectant mothers is illustrated by data from a health study from Scotland that was recently published in the renowned journal “Nature Medicine”.
As part of the study, a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh analyzed data from women who became pregnant between March 2020 and October 2021, including 4,950 known to have contracted the coronavirus. A large proportion of the infected women, more than 77 percent, were therefore unvaccinated. And: every fifth pregnant woman who was not vaccinated fell ill so severely with Covid-19 that she had to be treated in the hospital. By way of comparison, only one in 20 pregnant women with vaccination breakthroughs had to go to the hospital. The numbers from the intensive care units are even clearer. Almost all pregnant patients who had to be cared for in intensive care were not vaccinated – 98 percent according to the study. A woman died.
Increased risk for unvaccinated pregnant women
A corona infection is not only dangerous for expectant mothers, but also for the children. A total of 2364 babies were born during the study period. 101 babies were born prematurely. Eleven women who contracted the coronavirus during pregnancy gave birth to their child. Eight other babies died shortly after birth. All mothers whose children died were unvaccinated at the time of infection. However, the researchers qualify that they did not have access to detailed clinical records of the women. As a result, it is not possible to assess what influence the corona infection had on premature births and deaths. However, there are no indications that there is an increase in premature births or miscarriages after the corona vaccination.
The time of infection could also play a decisive role in determining the impact of Covid-19 disease on pregnant women. According to the Scottish study, the risk of developing more severe disease increased as the pregnancy progressed. About every third pregnant woman who became infected in the weeks before birth had to be treated in hospital, in the second trimester it was only about every tenth, in the first trimester 6.7 percent. According to study results, the risk of ending up in the intensive care unit due to a corona infection is greatest for heavily pregnant women.
Scientists in the USA came to a different conclusion. After evaluating medical records, a team of researchers from Seattle came to the conclusion that infections in an earlier phase of pregnancy, in trimesters one and two, increased the risk of premature birth and stillbirth. The researchers at the Institute for System Biology had analyzed data from 882 pregnant women infected with corona. None of the women had been vaccinated at the time of infection. The results were published in “The Lancet Digital Health”.
Vaccination for pregnant women is strongly recommended
The fact that so many pregnant women in Scotland were not vaccinated at the time of infection is partly due to the fact that in Great Britain, as in many other countries, including Germany, vaccination for pregnant women was initially not recommended. There was a lack of data. Pregnant and breastfeeding women were not included in the first approval studies. A precaution. So it took a long time before the data was available and the first vaccinations could be given.
The German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics has been recommending corona vaccination for pregnant women since May last year, and the Standing Vaccination Committee followed in September. Since then, women from the 13th week of pregnancy can be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine.