Six-country African research highlights the potential risks of getting COVID-19 throughout being pregnant
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A brand new research involving hospitalized ladies in six African international locations from the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s (UMSOM) Institute of Human Virology (IHV) confirmed that pregnant ladies with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had double the chance of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and four-times the chance of dying in-hospital than pregnant ladies who didn’t have COVID-19.

The researchers acknowledged that their findings counsel that ladies who’re pregnant or might turn out to be pregnant ought to keep away from getting COVID-19 and defend themselves as finest as they will with out there vaccines.

The findings have been printed on June 8, 2022, within the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, together with an accompanying viewpoint.

If the mom doesn’t do nicely, then the newborn doesn’t do nicely both. As we don’t but have vaccines for infants lower than six months outdated, pregnant ladies ought to get the vaccine to guard their unborn kids and newborns.”

Nadia Sam-Agudu, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UMSOM, Senior Technical Advisor for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV on the UMSOM’s Institute of Human Virology, and International Senior Technical Advisor of Pediatric and Adolescent HIV on the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria

Dr. Sam-Agudu added that at the moment out there proof exhibits that COVID-19 vaccines indicated to be used in being pregnant are protected, and rising knowledge present that they supply safety for newborns in addition to moms.

The new research was carried out by the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth) Research Collaboration on COVID-19 and Pregnancy. The research examined knowledge on 1,315 ladies hospitalized in Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, together with 510 pregnant ladies with COVID-19, 403 non-pregnant ladies with COVID-19, and 402 pregnant ladies with out COVID-19.

Women with different danger elements comparable to diabetes, HIV, historical past of tuberculosis, or sickle cell illness have been at higher danger for extreme COVID-19. About 32% of pregnant ladies with COVID-19 wanted in-hospital oxygen remedy in comparison with 16% of pregnant ladies with out COVID-19. Some 19% of pregnant ladies with COVID-19 have been admitted to the ICU, in comparison with 6% of pregnant ladies who didn’t have COVID-19. Among the ladies hospitalized with COVID-19, 10% of those that have been pregnant died in comparison with the 5% that weren’t pregnant.

“I would like to appeal to healthcare providers to consider the data with respect to vaccine safety for pregnant women, and to counsel women to help them consider the vaccine in light of the consequences of COVID-19,” stated Dr. Sam-Agudu. “Knowing that we have tools to prevent this disease from progressing, we should be more intentional, educational, and supportive about vaccination in pregnancy, so that pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant can access and receive vaccines.”

Overall, COVID-19 vaccination charges stay a lot decrease in Africa in comparison with a lot of the remainder of the world. As of at the moment, aside from just a few, full vaccination charges in African international locations don’t prime 40%. According to the researchers, COVID-19 vaccination charges are more likely to be a lot decrease amongst pregnant ladies in these settings.

African international locations nonetheless deal with low and inconsistent COVID-19 vaccine provides, largely as a result of persistent inequity in entry to world vaccine provide and manufacturing. Experts stay involved that vaccine demand and acceptance might wane, and vaccine apathy might set in, as inconsistent entry and provide persist.

“This study furthers confirms that pregnant women face special risks and potential complications from COVID-19,” stated Man Charurat, PhD, MHS, Professor of Medicine at UMSOM and the Division Director of Epidemiology & Prevention at UMSOM’s Institute of Human Virology. “Public health experts and physicians need to make more effort to solve the problem of vaccine inequity in Africa.”

E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko Okay. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, UMSOM, stated, “We need to make every effort to ensure that all countries or regions have available access to resources such as COVID-19 vaccines to prevent any unnecessary suffering. It is imperative that we encourage pregnant women to use the tools we now have developed to prevent their own disability and promote healthy births.”

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