JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two medical organizations are urging that pregnant, postpartum, and lactating women receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) cite evidence demonstrating the safe use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from “tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months,” according to a press release from Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only about 22 percent of all pregnant individuals have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for women during all stages of pregnancy,” said Adib
Khouzami, MD, FACOG, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Physician, Conemaugh Health System. “Women who are considered pregnant should get the vaccine. It is our best line of defense against complications from the virus.”

ACOG reports that data shows COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at an “increased risk of severe complications and even death.”

SMFM adds that pregnancy is independently associated with a 3-fold increased risk for ICU admission, 2.4-fold increased risk for needed ECMO, and a 1.7-fold increased risk of death due to COVID-19 compared with symptomatic non-pregnant patients.

For more information, head to the SMFM website or the ACOG website.