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ACOG Releases Statement on New CDC Data for COVID-19 and Pregnancy

“The new information from the CDC highlights the importance of pregnant patients being prioritized for a coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available.”
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
June 25, 2020
pregnant woman touching her belly against backdrop of palm trees
Image: Tony Eight Media

Experts are still trying to piece together how exactly COVID-19 impacts pregnancy. Now, due to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released a statement emphasizing the need for up-to-date information when it comes to patient care during pregnancy.

According to the statement, issued by Christopher M. Zahn, MD, FACOG, and vice president of practice activities for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the new CDC data suggests that pregnant patients are at a different level of risk that previous data indicated.

“New information from the CDC suggests that pregnant patients may be at increased risk for certain manifestations of severe illness due to COVID-19, such as intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation,” Zahn says. “Importantly, the available data also suggest that the overall risk of these clinical interventions remains low, and that pregnant patients do not appear to be at increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 compared with nonpregnant patients in the same age group.”

The statement goes on to emphasize the importance of giving medical care informed by current and most up-to-date research and data, as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a fluid situation with rapidly evolving information.

“In keeping with our evidence-based approach, ACOG is reviewing all of our clinical materials and patient resources related to COVID-19 in light of newly available information and will make any necessary revisions to recommendations,” Zahn continues. “We understand that pregnant individuals are experiencing increased concern due to COVID-19, and we appreciate that these are unsettling times.”

While the data is reviewed and modifications considered, the ACOG recommends that clinicians providing care to patients who are pregnant or seeking to become pregnant should counsel them on the potential increased risk of severe illness associated with COVID-19 and emphasize the importance of taking precautions. The statement also advises pregnant patients who test positive for COVID-19 to enroll in an appropriate COVID-19 registry, such as the COVID-19 PRIORITY Registry to better help experts and physicians understand how COVID-19 affects pregnancy.

“In light of this new information from the CDC regarding the risk to pregnant patients, it is even more concerning that pregnant and lactating patients have been excluded from clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine. The new information from the CDC highlights the importance of pregnant patients being prioritized for a coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available,” Zahn concludes. “ACOG again urges the federal government to use its resources to ensure the safe inclusion of pregnant and lactating patients, including patients of color, in trials for vaccines and therapeutics to ensure that all populations are included in the search for ways to prevent and treat COVID-19.”

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