Delta variant may be more dangerous to pregnant women
The Delta variant of the coronavirus seems to be more dangerous to pregnant women, Kitty Bloemenkamp, professor of obstetrics at UMC Utrecht, said to newspaper AD. More pregnant women have been hospitalized in the Netherlands over the past weeks than during previous waves of the coronavirus.
"These women are not vaccinated and have no underlying disease. Yet they become very ill," Bloemenkamp said. "In the worst case, their baby is even delivered earlier, while the mother is on a ventilator in the ICU."
Last week, four pregnant women were admitted to UMC Utrecht with the coronavirus. There is no national overview, but other Dutch hospitals are noticing a similar trend, Bloemenkamp said.
In the United Kingdom, where the Delta variant became dominant before reaching the Netherlands, this trend has been visible for some time. During the first wave, 24 percent of pregnant women hospitalized in the UK needed intensive care. With the Delta variant, that increased to 45 percent, according to the newspaper. 99 percent of these hospitalized women there were not vaccinated.
"We see a similar picture in the Netherlands," Bloemenkamp said. The Covid-19 vaccination rate among pregnant women is not known, but gynecologists and obstetricians previously raised concerns about misinformation and conflicting information provision causing hesitance in this group.
Since May, public health institute RIVM advised all pregnant women in the Netherlands to get vaccinated. The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna tested safe and effective for pregnant women and their unborn child.