WASHINGTON – Pregnant people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus are nearly twice as likely to get COVID-19 as those vaccinated with different therapies, according to a new study. provide the most comprehensive evidence of probability. Circumstances.
An analysis of the medical records of nearly 14 million US patients since the coronavirus vaccination became available found that pregnant people who have been vaccinated have developed COVID-19 in a dozen medical states, including being organ transplant recipients and having cancer. The biggest risk of getting
The findings come on top of research showing that people who are pregnant or who have recently given birth and become infected are particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. And COVID has been found to increase the risk of pregnancy complications, such as premature birth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get coronavirus shots before or during pregnancy, trying to allay fears – in some communities without scientific basis – that those vaccinations could be harmful. According to federal figures, as of March, about 70% of people who became pregnant had been vaccinated before or during their pregnancies, although disparities between racial and ethnic groups persist.
The new study goes beyond what has been previously understood, suggesting that pregnant people who are fully vaccinated have less protection from the virus than many other patients with significant medical problems.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, that’s fantastic,” said study lead author David R. Little, a physician who is a researcher at Epic, a Wisconsin company that works with nearly 1,000 hospitals and more than 20,000 clinics. Maintains electronic patient records. across the country. “But if you get fully vaccinated and become pregnant, you are at a higher risk of getting COVID.”
Little said the findings support the CDC’s recommendations that additional precautions should be taken against the virus during pregnancy, such as wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance. He said the study also suggests that health care workers “should remain under observation” for symptoms and encourage testing to detect the virus early, when it is easier to treat.
The analysis was based on Epic medical records of 13.8 million patients between January 2021, when the first people in the United States were fully vaccinated and had enough time to develop immunity, and the end of January this year. Little and colleagues analyzed risk from 12 comorbidities during that period. The study included delta and omicron variant surges but did not differentiate the rate of success infection during those waves or at other times.
The researchers measured the risk by analyzing the records of pairs of fully vaccinated patients from the same part of the country. In each pair, one patient’s condition was being measured, and the other was not. The patients were not age-matched, and those who were pregnant could be analyzed with either a man or a woman.
The analysis found that 110,000 pregnant individuals included in the study were 90% more likely to be infected with the coronavirus than those who were not pregnant. The next highest risk – 80% higher – was in organ transplant recipients. The higher risk between those two groups was higher than that of patients with compromised immune systems, who were 60% more likely to have coronavirus infection.
The fact that pregnancy poses a greater risk than having a weakened immune system comes as public health officials warn that being immunocompromised can make coronavirus vaccines significantly less effective. Federal regulators allowed people with immune troubles to get a fourth shot before guidance shifted this week to allow additional vaccine doses for Americans 50 or older.
The study found that vaccinated people with many conditions have a slightly higher risk of experiencing the infection than people without those conditions. These include kidney, liver and blood disorders. Patients with lung diseases had a slightly higher risk – 30% higher than patients without those diseases. Cardiovascular diseases, on the other hand, do not pose any additional risks, and cancer patients are less likely to have success cases than those who are cancer-free.
The findings do not explain the reason behind the risk levels. Dennis Jamieson, an expert in infectious diseases during pregnancy, called the higher risk of infection in pregnant people from vaccinations as an “interesting and interesting finding.”
Jamieson, chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said the finding suggests that people who are more likely to be tested because they are receiving prenatal care should be referred to a health care provider. keep in unusually constant contact with. , Or it could suggest that people of child-bearing age are in jobs, such as teaching or nursing, that put them at unusually high risk of exposure to the virus. At the same time, Jamieson said, the apparently high risk of a breakthrough case during pregnancy may be a result of the way the study matches the pairs of patients.
Or, Jamieson said, the study could actually reveal that pregnant individuals are more likely to become infected with the coronavirus, even after being vaccinated.
“It’s definitely interesting,” Jamieson said. “This study asks this question but does not answer it.”