Vaccine urged for pregnant women

Care New England, the second largest healthcare system in Rhode Island, is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated against the coronavirus because there is a “substantially greater risk” for them to develop complications from the virus.

Care New England announced its recommendation Sept. 8.

Although doctors have suspected this to be the case “for some time now,” Care New England said the science supporting vaccinate pregnancies “greatly advanced this year as has our understanding about the role of the vaccine during pregnancy.

“Our own experts at Care New England reviewed the scientific literature about the COVID

19 vaccine in pregnancy, and share the national perspective that the experience and evidence we have strongly supports the recommendation that all pregnant women should get the COVID19 vaccine to protect themselves and their pregnancy from the risks of COVID-19 infection,” according to spokeswoman Raina Smith.

“It is now clear,” she said.

The study by Care New England, which operates Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, concluded pregnant women infected with the virus have twice the risk of dying than a woman of similar age and health who is not pregnant. Pregnant women also are three times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and four times more likely to need mechanical ventilation.

Led by Dr. Method Tuuli, Woman & Infants is the primary teaching affiliate in obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

“It really has become clear this year that pregnant patients should get the COVID-19 vaccine not in spite of their pregnancy, but really because of it,” said Dr. Erica Hardy, an infectious disease expert who sat on panel with the National Institutes of Health to draft recommendations related to COVID 19 care for pregnant women.