Six pregnant women in Alberta ICUs last month due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated: AHS

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Six women placed in ICU due to COVID-19 last month were pregnant, says Alberta Health Services, urging all expecting and new moms to immediately get fully vaccinated.

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“COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant, is highly infectious and pregnant individuals are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Immunization is the best way to protect mother and child,” reads a Monday statement from AHS.

All six Alberta women admitted in August to ICU due to COVID-19 were unimmunized.

For context, only seven pregnant Albertans were admitted to ICU for COVID-19 during the entire first year of the pandemic, from March 2020 to March 2021.

And in the six cases last month, COVID-19 had severe impacts on the parent’s health, as well as the child’s. Five preterm births occurred as early as 29 weeks.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant individuals and their babies, as well as those trying to become pregnant. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19 disease,” continues the AHS statement.

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Immunization passes immunity from mother to infant, helping to protect the baby for the first few months of life. The mRNA vaccines, like Pfizer and Moderna, are the safest type of COVID-19 vaccine to get at any time during pregnancy, adds AHS.

The urgent AHS request comes as the province’s health care system grapples with the latest COVID-19 surge. Day surgeries in the Edmonton Zone are postponed this week, with hospitals providing priority cancer, urgent and emergent surgeries only.

As of 1 p.m. Sunday, 111 of the Edmonton Zone’s 126 ICU beds were filled.

Alberta has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, with 16,265 active cases as of Friday, up from 15,977 active cases as of Thursday.

More to come…

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