Amid a surge in COVID-19 rates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now recommended that two groups of people receive the vaccine.
On Wednesday (Aug. 11), the CDC announced that they found new data that determined that it was safe for pregnant people and others under 12 years old to take the vaccine. Before, the CDC had encouraged pregnant people to get the vaccine, but hadn’t given an actual recommendation.
“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a release. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”
The CDC’s new recommendation arrives after they took information from data on the 2,500 pregnancies of people who took an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before they were 20 weeks pregnant. They found that the 13% of those pregnancies resulted in miscarriage, which falls within the 11-16% rate of miscarriages for the “general population.”
This new development comes as places across the U.S. are making adjustments for COVID-19 rates that have surged after the Delta variant of the virus emerged. Last week, New York announced that anyone who wants to dine indoors or go to the gym would need to prove that they’ve been vaccinated. Weeks before that, Dr. Walensky said that the U.S. was at an important moment for dealing with the resurgence of COVID-19.
“The Delta variant is spreading with incredible efficiency and now represents more than 83 percent of the virus circulating in the United States,” she said. “Compared to the virus we had circulating initially in the United States at the start of the pandemic, the Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career.”