New York: Pregnant women appeared to be at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 infection, as per a new study conducted in the US.
The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed that the COVID-19 infection rate among pregnant women was estimated to be 70 per cent higher than in similarly aged adults in Washington state.
"Our data indicates that pregnant people did not avoid the pandemic as we hoped that they would," said researcher Kristina Adams Waldorf from the University of Washington in the US.
"The higher infection rates in pregnant patients, coupled with an elevated risk for severe illness and maternal mortality due to COVID-19, suggests that pregnancy should be considered a high-risk health condition for COVID-19 vaccine allocation in Phase 1B all across the US," she added.
For the study, the team included 35 hospitals and clinics for the study. The group identified 240 pregnant women who acquired COVID-19 from March through June 2020.
This number represents all such known cases at the collaborating sites, which account for 61 per cent of births in the state each year.
Adams Waldorf urges pregnant women to discuss the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination with their prenatal care provider.
"We want to use information from this study to be more prepared for the next pandemic and to not brush pregnant women to the side. They need to have a seat at the table when it comes to vaccine trials and vaccine allocation," Adams Waldorf said.