LDH: Deaths of pregnant mothers, unborn children spike during fourth surge of COVID


FILE – In this April 6, 2020 file photo, cots and cribs are arranged at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, as an alternate care site or for hospital overflow amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there has been a decline in births in the U.S. during the pandemic, a new report released Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests the drop may have turned a corner as births started rebounding last March. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is reporting a spike in the deaths of unvaccinated pregnant women and their unborn children due to the delta variant of COVID-19.

LDH reported that of 14 unvaccinated mothers, six have died and 10 unborn children have died since mid-July.

“More COVID-19-related maternal and fetal deaths have been reported during the Delta surge than the total number of COVID-19 severe pregnancy outcomes reported during the previous 15 months of the pandemic in Louisiana,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “It’s a tragic reminder of the vulnerability of pregnant individuals and their children to this highly contagious illness. Babies rely upon us and their parents for protection. We must do everything we can, including getting the COVID vaccine, to ensure safe and healthy birth outcomes.”

People who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 compared to those who are not pregnant, stated LDH officials. LDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all people, including pregnant individuals, receive their COVID-19 vaccination. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also recommend that all eligible people, including pregnant and lactating individuals, be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Find a vaccine provider near you at covidvaccine.la.gov or vaccines.gov. Those who have questions or concerns should talk to their doctors. Those without access to a primary care provider can call Louisiana’s COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 and speak directly with a medical professional.

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