COVID-19 deaths among pregnant people surged amid Delta, CDC data show
The number of pregnant people who died of COVID-19 surged in August and September as the Delta variant spread nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out this week.
Why it matters: The data underscore the importance of pregnant people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as the quickly emerging Omicron variant starts to spread, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
Driving the news: More than two dozen deaths from COVID-19 among pregnant people were recorded in August and September of this year, according to the CDC.
- Additionally, more than 40% of the 248 total deaths among pregnant people since the pandemic began occurred since August.
- "I can tell you, when I hear about a pregnant woman in the community who is not vaccinated, I personally pick up the phone and talk to them," Walensky told ABC News' chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton earlier this month.
- Walensky also told Ashton she is "very concerned" about pregnant people who remain unvaccinated as the Omicron variant spreads.
The big picture: The data come as COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant people continue to lag relative to the general population.
- As of Dec. 4, the most recent data available, less than 35% of pregnant people are fully vaccinated, compared to nearly 61% of the general population, according to the CDC.
- The vaccination rate among Black pregnant people is even lower, at around 22%, according to the CDC.
- Pregnant people face a greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19, according to the CDC.
What they're saying: "This is one where I feel like we have to do more," Walensky said of the lagging vaccination rate among pregnant people.
- "We have to do better," she said.