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News Releases

Joint Statement Recommends COVID-19 Vaccinations for All Pregnant Women in South Carolina

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August 12, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. − A group of the top health organizations in South Carolina has combined to issue a joint recommendation for all pregnant women in South Carolina to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to protect them and their babies against potentially severe COVID-19-related complications.

There is now a strong body of evidence that women during and after pregnancy are at much greater risk for more severe illness due to COVID-19 than other people in their age group and are more likely to have major pregnancy complications. As the delta variant has become the dominant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in South Carolina and the U.S., unvaccinated pregnant women are at even greater risk of serious illness and hospitalization and for having poorer pregnancy outcomes for themselves and their newborn. All the signatories of this Joint Statement fully recommend vaccination for all pregnant women during and after pregnancy.

Most concerning to health professionals is that the latest information available indicates that less than 25 percent of pregnant women overall and less than 10 percent of women under age 25 in the country are fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strengthened its recommendation of vaccinations for COVID-19 for pregnant women based on new evidence affirming the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) fully supports the CDC’s recommendation.

New analyses found no risk in early pregnancy or increased risk of a miscarriage among people who received a vaccine before the 20th week of a pregnancy. Previous data from three safety monitoring systems did not find any safety concerns for pregnant women who were vaccinated late in pregnancy or in their babies.

What was proven true was that pregnancy does increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to need hospitalization and require critical care, including ventilation and admission to the intensive care unit.

Clinicians have seen a rise in the number of pregnant people infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks. The dangers of the Delta variant – increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications – are too great to ignore. 

Read the joint statement in full here*.

*On August 13, additional signatories were added to the joint statement. 



COVID-19 Media Relations