COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Health leaders across South Carolina on Thursday issued a joint recommendation for all pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), “clinicians have seen a rise in the number of pregnant people infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks. The dangers of the Delta variant — increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications — are too great to ignore.”
The recommendation came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “strengthened its recommendation of vaccinations for COVID-19 for pregnant women based on new evidence affirming the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.”
Experts say there is strong evidence to suggest that “women during and after pregnancy are at much greater risk for more severe illness due to COVID-19… and are more likely to have major pregnancy complications.”
Additional data in vaccinated pregnant women “found no risk in early pregnancy or increased risk of a miscarriage among people who received a vaccine before the 20th week of pregnancy.” Previous studies found no “safety concerns for pregnant women who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or in their babies.”
The statement also encouraged family members of pregnant women to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of transmission.
Pregnant women who are unwilling or unable to get vaccinated should “use proper facial masking and physical distancing in any group setting and limit activities that would place them in close contact with individuals other than immediate family,” according to the letter.
Read the full letter below: