What risk are pregnant women of contracting Covid 19? Here is new research from the University of Birmingham and WHO
It’s news a few days ago: Pfizer and BioNTech have enrolled the first participants for a global phase II / III study to evaluate the BNT162b2 vaccine in the prevision of COVID-19 in pregnant women. The trial will be conducted in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Spain. Approximately 4,000 healthy pregnant women aged 18 and over will be randomly assigned to receive two doses of BNT162b2 or placebo, administered 21 days apart. Participants will be vaccinated during the 24-34 weeks of gestation. But in the meantime pregnant women are considered a risk category for contracting Covid 19. And new research arrives to give more information.
In this article
Covid 19: what the new research says
According to research conducted by the University of Birmingham and the World Health Organization (WHO), pregnant women with COVID-19 are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19, particularly if they are from ethnic minorities or if they have pre-existing conditions such as obesity. hypertension and diabetes. Their research, published in the British Medical Journal, is part of an ongoing data analysis, which began in April 2020, and follows the researchers’ first publication in the BMJ last August.
This latest publication details the researchers’ analysis of the results of 192 studies – 115 more studies than those included in their August publication – on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their babies.
The review found that 1 in 10 pregnant or recently pregnant women who were hospitalized were diagnosed with COVID-19. Overall, 339 pregnant women with COVID-19 died from various causes (0.02% of a total of 41,664 women involved in 59 studies). The study also found that overall neonatal death rates are low in women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Covid 19: the symptoms
The most common clinical symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnant women were:
- fever (40%)
- cough (41%)
although they were more likely to be asymptomatic.
Increased maternal age, high BMI, non-white ethnicity, and other problems such as chronic hypertension and diabetes have been identified as risk factors for pregnant women who develop severe COVID-19. While evidence emerges from the review that specific pregnancy conditions such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes may be associated with severe covid-19, the authors say more data is needed to better assess the association between pregnancy-specific risk factors. and COVID-19.
The first author, Dr. John Allotey, of the WHO Collaborating Center for Global Women’s Health based at the University of Birmingham, said: “Pregnant women should be considered a high risk group, particularly those identified to have risk factors, for COVID-19. serious. Mothers should also be reassured that the risk to their babies is very low. “
Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, correspondent author and co-director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Global Women’s Health at the University of Birmingham, added: “In the current situation, where evidence is produced rapidly, our review living systematics is critical for addressing important research questions and for shaping health policy and clinical decision-making. Pregnant women and healthcare professionals will need to take into account the additional risks faced by pregnant women with COVID-19 when making decisions such as hiring vaccines if offered to prevent COVID-19 and plan pregnancy management “.
Pregnant women and vaccine
Given the increased risk, pregnant women should have the vaccine with priority. This at least is the opinion of Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, of the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Our data indicates that pregnant women do not avoid contracting the virus as we hoped. Also, women of color have a better chance of contracting it.”
The key thing, according to experts, is to inquire about the risk of Covid-19 infection (for example if you are part of the healthcare staff), always speak with your doctor and evaluate the risks of Covid-19 in pregnancy for maternal and fetal health, waiting for the actual studies on possible risks in pregnancy and lactation to be verified.
Article sources: Eurekalert.org, Pfizer, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology