Delta variant more likely to put unvaccinated pregnant women in IC


Unvaccinated pregnant women and new mothers are more likely to end up in intensive care as a result of a Delta coronavirus infection, new figures have confirmed.

NethOSS, which registers serious conditions during pregnancy and the first 42 days following the birth of the child, found that since the Delta variant became the dominant virus in June, twice as many pregnant women needed intensive care.

Since July 15, 80 pregnant women and new mothers were hospitalised with the Delta variant of Covid-19, of whom 28% (22) ended up in IC, the figures show.

Only 16% of of the 129 pregnant women and new mothers who fell ill with the Alpha variant between April and May needed intensive care.

Erasmus teaching hospital in Rotterdam also reported an increase in cases. Half of the pregnant women admitted to the intensive care unit since the beginning of the pandemic came in during the last four months, gynaecologist Hans Duvekot told Trouw.

UK research among 3,300 pregnant women has shown that the Delta mutation of the virus is more harmful. ‘It looks as if the virus mutates to the detriment of pregnant women. Fortunately we have a method to deliver oxygen to them but sometimes the women are in such a bad way the birth has to be speeded up, with all the attending health problems of children who are born prematurely, Duvekot said.’ Two women at the Erasmus hospital lost their babies.

Almost all of the pregnant women hospitalised in the Netherlands with coronavirus are unvaccinated and many have a non-western immigrant background. This group is reluctant to get vaccinated, earlier research has shown, and many women also worry about the effect of the vaccine on their unborn child.

‘The vaccine does not lead to different or more serious side effects in pregnant women,’ Bloemenkamp stressed. ‘The vaccine cannot penetrate the placenta. Only the antibodies produced will get to the baby.’

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