COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant women: 5 CDC findings

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COVID-19 vaccine coverage was low among pregnant women in early May and varied greatly based on a woman's age and race/ethnicity, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published June 15. 

Researchers analyzed data on 135,968 pregnant women housed in the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink, which includes vaccine safety monitoring data from nine health systems in seven states.

Five findings:

1. Between Dec. 14 and May 8, 16.3 percent of pregnant women had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. 

2. Of these women, 11.1 percent were fully vaccinated during their pregnancy, compared to 24.9 percent of nonpregnant women included in the database.

3. Pregnant women ages 35-49 were most likely to receive at least one vaccine dose (22.7 percent), while pregnant women ages 18 to 24 were the least (5.5 percent). 

4. Asian women (24.7 percent) and white women (19.7 percent) also had higher vaccination rates during pregnancy than Hispanic women (11.9 percent) and Black women (6 percent).

5. The CDC said these findings may not be generalizable to all women in the U.S., but underscore the importance of addressing vaccination disparities among this population.

"These findings highlight racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 vaccination coverage to date among pregnant women, who are at increased risk for infection and severe COVID-19-associated illness, indicating a need to prioritize vaccine equity by addressing potential barriers and access issues," the agency said.

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