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Wagamaga OP t1_j686i5n wrote

COVID vaccines and first boosters provided significant protection to pregnant women against severe complications and death, even after the arrival of the new Omicron variant, according to a study published this week in The Lancet medical journal.

This study "demonstrates a vaccine effectiveness in preventing severe complications of severe COVID-19 of 76% following vaccination and at least one booster," said Dr. Michael Gravett, an OB-GYN with the University of Washington School of Medicine who participated in the study, which was led by Oxford University. "Given the marked increased in maternal mortality and severe morbidity seen in our earlier studies prior to vaccination, the 76% efficacy is pretty impressive and really points to the need to get women vaccinated."

The main point of the study, which was completed before other variants came on the scene, is for pregnant women to get vaccinated and receive all their boosters, including the bivalent booster, he said.The bivalent booster contains components targeting the original strain of the virus as well as a component of the Omicron strain, which emerged in late 2021.

As of the first week of January, 71% of pregnant women have received their primary COVID vaccines but only 19% have received the recommended bivalent booster, according the the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Washington state, only 29% of pregnant women have received the bivalent booster, Gravett said.

Gravett noted that the study, one of the largest of its kind, compared outcomes of 1,545 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 with those of 3,073 pregnant women without the infection. UW Medicine sites were one of three in the United States included in the study. Gravett and Dr. Alisa Kachikis guided the Seattle part of the study, which included around 75 women from UW Medical Center-Montlake, UW Medical Center-Northwest and Harborview Medical Center.