With the Delta variant, there was an increase in coronavirus-related hospitalizations by more than one-third among these individuals.
The number of women who were pregnant and also hospitalized for COVID-19 increased from 10% to 15% in late August 2021 and early September 2021, which is more than double the percentages of a year earlier, results of a study posted in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology show.
"If they are exposed and infected, they run a higher risk of severe illness from this most recent Delta variant," Emily Adhikari, MD, medical director of perinatal infectious diseases at Parkland Health and Hospital System, said in a statement. "Pregnant women should get immunized as soon as possible."
Investigators found that these findings are the first objective evidence of the number and severity of illness in pregnant individuals alongside the spike in the Delta variant.
The wave of the Delta variant coincided with more than one-third of COVID-19 hospitalizations the week of August 29, 2021, which peaked in August and early September 2021.
The study consisted of 1515 pregnant women who were diagnosed with COVID-19 at Parkland between May 2020 and September 4, 2021.
Of the individuals included, 82 had critical or severe illness, including 10 on ventilators and 2 who died.
Of the 82 individuals, just 1 was vaccinated.
The study results show that pregnant women are at great risk of severe respiratory infections, and there is a need for these individuals to get vaccinated for COVID-19, investigators said.
COVID-19 hospitalizations increase among unvaccinated pregnant women. Science Daily. News release. September 30, 2021. Accessed on October 1, 2021. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210930171014.htm