Unvaccinated women with COVID are more likely to lose fetuses and infants, Scottish data shows – the ills of vaccine refusal catch up with their children. In a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, scientists from the University of Glasgow in Scotland shared their findings after conducting a retrospective observational case-control study on pregnant women who had been diagnosed with a second trimester infection.
The researchers found that the overall risk associated with second trimester infection was six times higher among unvaccinated women compared to vaccinated ones. Unvaccinated mothers were also at greater risk for severe birth outcomes such as preterm delivery (>32 weeks), very early preterm delivery (<32 weeks) or spontaneous abortion.
“Our research showed that unvaccinated women with COVID had six times greater risk of experiencing a severe birth outcome than vaccinated women, and 10 times the risk of spontaneous abortion,” said study author Dr. Ruth Gilbert, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Glasgow’s QEII Health Sciences Centre’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit in a news release
This increased risk for adverse neonatal outcomes puts infants born to mothers who were not vaccinated in a precarious situation in their early days. These children are more likely to face hospitalization during the first 90 days of life when they have been exposed to infections from deadly diseases such as measles or whooping cough right through breastfeeding or direct contact with an infected person.
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also added in their report that “the loss of protection afforded by the vaccine when the mother is vaccinated after 20 weeks gestation suggests that immunity acquired through natural infection may be more effective.”
Dr. Gilbert added, “These results are particularly relevant given the recent outbreaks of measles in developed countries where low uptake rates of maternal pertussis containing vaccines have been identified as a key factor for sustained transmission to infants.” She said this was especially true amid reported concerns about declining vaccine uptake rates among pregnant women due to false beliefs about links between vaccinations and autism. [ARTICLE END]
By sharing their findings, Scottish scientists are letting the public know how devastating leaving these diseases behind can be, especially for women and their children. Vaccine refusal might lead to more than just health problems for pregnant women – it could also mean death or severe illness for their babies.