Washington (AFP) - US health authorities urged pregnant women on Wednesday to get inoculated against Covid-19, arguing that the data demonstrates they do not increase the risk of miscarriage.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency "encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from Covid-19."
"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," Walensky said.
According to a recent study, only one in four pregnant women has received at least a first dose of a Covid vaccine.
The CDC said an analysis of current data had found there was not an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine -- the type of shots made by Pfizer and Moderna in the United States -- before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It said miscarriage rates among women who received a Covid-19 vaccine were around 13 percent, about the same as the typical miscarriage rate of 11-16 percent of pregnancies.
"The benefits of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine for pregnant people outweigh any known or potential risks," the CDC said.
"The increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to Covid-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever," it added.