CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As the Delta variant spikes in hospitals across the Lowcountry, doctors say they are seeing a huge impact in pregnant women.
“Pregnant women are coming into the hospital, requiring oxygen, and even sometimes being admitted to the ICU needing a tube down their throat,” says Dr. Rebecca Wineland, MUSC Medical Director of Labor and Delivery.
Doctors at MUSC say only 23% of pregnant women in the United States are vaccinated making them a high risk for the Delta variant.
“The Delta variant for the last 6 weeks has been horrendous for all unvaccinated people, but especially pregnant women,” Dr. Wineland says.
Dr. Wineland says some pregnant women fear the impact of vaccinations can have on their fertility and pregnancy, but she says the virus spreads easily and pregnant women have a greater chance of health complications.
“Even prior to the Delta variant, pregnant women were getting increased risks like 15 times increase risks of death, 14 times risk of intubation and 22 times risk of preterm birth,” she says.
Even for mild cases of Covid-19, doctors are seeing long term complications for babies.
“We are seeing long term complications like preeclampsia, small baby, and preterm birth,” says Dr. Wineland.
As the Delta variant spreads, especially among pregnant women trusting the science and data is what Dr. Wineland says is safest for the mother and the baby.
“This is the most scrutinized vaccine probably ever and there’s so much data that the CDC is gathering. Whether you are trying to conceive, newly pregnant, in any tri-mister, post-partum or lactating the vaccine is safe,” she says.
MUSC doctors are encouraging pregnant women to get their flu shot this season and make sure they follow all safety precautions even after getting vaccinated such as mask wearing and social distancing.