Multi-country study suggests pregnant women with COVID-19 more vulnerable to death, preterm birth

Coronavirus
A pregnant woman wearing a hazmat suit and a mask walks in the streets in the Elmhurst neighbourhood of Queens on April 27, 2020 in New York City. (Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

A pregnant woman wearing a hazmat suit and a mask walks in the streets in the Elmhurst neighbourhood of Queens on April 27, 2020 in New York City. (Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

A multi-country study suggests pregnant women who get COVID-19 have higher risks for death, intensive-care stays, preterm birth and other complications.

Pregnancy causes various changes in the body that may make women vulnerable to harm from the coronavirus. Pregnant women can gain some protection by getting vaccinated; recent evidence suggests the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are safe to use in pregnancy.

The results were published on Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, which echo smaller studies. The research involved women in 18 countries, including the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The study involved about 700 pregnant women with COVID-19 and 1,400 without it. It was sponsored by a research fund at the University of Oxford, there the lead authors work.

On Wednesday, the preliminary results of a report of 35,000 U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant showed their rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications were comparable to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic.

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