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COVID-19 In Pregnancy, Variants, And Vaccines


 

There is so much that’s unknown in pregnancy, and our current situation — a global pandemic — can make it seem like the world is full of even more unknown dangers. Today, we’re going to look at the latest research available on COVID-19 and pregnancy, as well as the vaccines available. 

This will not be exhaustive, but more an overview of the research that’s available, allowing you to read up in more detail where it pertains to you. You should also always follow the advice and directions given to you by your healthcare practitioner. 


March 2021: A Year Into Lockdown

Back in March of 2020, we all thought that lockdown would be a couple of weeks before we went back to normal. And yet, here we are 12 months into it and there’s no end in sight. For those who have been pregnant and had babies during this past year, it’s been a wild ride of isolated pregnancies, lockdown maternity leave, and intense social distancing.


What the research says

The good news is that, worldwide, we are starting to learn more about the virus that locked us all in our homes. What we have seen regarding pregnant women is as follows (this information has been collected in the UK:

  • Healthy pregnant women are no more or less likely to get COVID-19.
  • They are as likely as a normal, healthy adult to be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
  • Social distancing, mask wearing and hygiene are important throughout pregnancy, but especially in the third trimester.

That said, pregnant women who experience severe symptoms of COVID-19 are shown to require hospitalisation more often than their non-pregnant counterparts. 


Variants

As the virus spreads it mutates, creating variants. Currently, we are aware of a few variants that are more infectious than the original virus, SARS-CoV-2. Variants have emerged in “the Kingdom of Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of South Africa [which] have raised interest and concern in the impact of viral changes,” says the WHO


Vaccines

There are currently a few different vaccines circulating that work in various ways. Some are administered in one dose, others in two doses. They all work in slightly different ways, but although they have been sent to market amazingly quickly, this does not detract from their efficacy. The best vaccine to get is the first one you are offered. The more people who are vaccination, the higher the likelihood is that our lockdown and restrictions will be lifted, globally. 

In summary, pregnant women should do what is in their power not to get COVID-19. Maintain social distance, wear your mask in public, and make sure you keep your hands sanitised. If you do catch it, try not to panic but contact your healthcare provider immediately so that they can monitor you.

Please see the list of sources below for more in-depth reading on COVID-19 in pregnancy, variants, and vaccines. And talk to your doctor if you are concerned about anything. 


Sources:

  1. Coronavirus infection and pregnancy (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists): https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/ 
  2. Increasing understanding of the impact of COVID-19 for pregnant women and their babies (WHO): https://www.who.int/news/item/01-09-2020-increasing-understanding-of-the-impact-of-covid-19-for-pregnant-women-and-their-babies 
  3. SARS-CoV-2 Variants (WHO): https://www.who.int/csr/don/31-december-2020-sars-cov2-variants/en/
  4. The four types of COVID-19 vaccine – a snapshot: https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/emea/four-types-covid-19-vaccine-snapshot 
  5. Pregnancy and coronavirus: information for pregnant women: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/blogs-and-stories/im-pregnant/pregnancy-news-and-blogs/pregnancy-and-coronavirus-information-pregnant-women 

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