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About 3 in 4 Pregnant Women in US Unvaccinated Against COVID-19
Most pregnant women in the U.S. have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of Aug. 21, about 3 in 4 pregnant women aged 18-49 were unvaccinated, or in other words, 23.9% overall received at least one dose, per data from the agency’s Vaccine Safety Datalink. Vaccination coverage was reported lowest among Hispanic/Latina (19.2%) and Black pregnant women (11.7%), with higher coverage reported among Asian (35.2%) and White pregnant women (26.6%).
“Vaccination among pregnant people remains low,” the health agency wrote in part in the COVID Data Tracker weekly update on Aug. 20. “This low uptake persists despite recent increases in COVID-19 cases in pregnant people.”
Not Vaccinated Against COVID? It’s About to Get Very Expensive
“People can get enormous bills for this and it is going to wreak havoc on the health systems trying to collect that money,” said Ray Berry, founder and CEO of Health Business Solutions, a consulting group that works with hospitals and insurance companies.
“Anyone who has gotten COVID up until this point will not have paid, anything but that will sure change in the next month or two. I believe it will change quicker than some people might think.”
Having SARS-CoV-2 Once Confers Much Greater Immunity Than a Vaccine — but no Infection Parties, Please
The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label. The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.
The study demonstrates the power of the human immune system, but infectious disease experts emphasized that this vaccine and others for COVID-19 nonetheless remain highly protective against severe disease and death. And they caution that intentional infection among unvaccinated people would be extremely risky. “What we don’t want people to say is: ‘All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party.’” says Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University who researches the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and was not involved in the study. “Because somebody could die.”
Virus Symptoms Can Last a Year, Study Finds
One year after becoming ill with the coronavirus, nearly half of patients in a large new study were still experiencing at least one lingering health symptom, adding to evidence that recovery from COVID-19 can be arduous and that the multifaceted condition known as “long COVID” can last for months.
The study, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, is believed to be the largest to date in which patients were evaluated one year after being hospitalized for COVID.