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Study finds high rate of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among pregnant women

Pregnant women are nearly twice as likely to be infected with a breakthrough cases, more than organ transplant patients or those with cancer, according to the study

DES MOINES, Iowa — A new study that examined millions of medical records, found pregnant women who were vaccinated against COVID-19 are nearly twice as likely to get infected with COVID-19 compared to other vaccinated people. 

The study found pregnancy to have the highest rate of breakthrough cases among other simultaneously occurring conditions like organ transplants, kidney disease, cardiovascular issues and cancer. 

Dr. Neil Mandsager, MercyOne Medical Director of Obstetric, said

"I think it reflects what we've known all along, and that is that pregnant women should be considered immunocompromised," said MercyOne Medical Director of Obstetrics, Dr. Neil Mandsager. "Pregnant women are at greater risk of having severe disease related to COVID. And for that reason, they really need to get vaccinated."

Mandsager said he saw first hand how dangerous the virus was for pregnant women, recalling patients he cared for before vaccines were made available. 

"Before the vaccine came out, we clearly saw that pregnant women were having more severe infections," said Mandsager. "In fact, we had to deliver several patients early who had gotten COVID because we weren't sure they were going to survive their pregnancy. So we delivered the baby before we would also lose the baby as well."

Dr. Mandsager is encouraging pregnant women to get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and their infant from complications.

"The very slim minor risks related to the vaccine are much less than the risk that these women are taking. That could happen to them if they got infected during pregnancy."

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