By County News Center
San Diego, CA–An unvaccinated woman is the first pregnant San Diego woman to die from COVID-19, the County Health and Human Services Agency said Thursday.
The woman died earlier this week after being hospitalized, as did her unborn child. Her age and other details about her death and pregnancy are not being reported to protect her and her family’s privacy.
“This is a very unfortunate death, and our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” said Seema Shah, M.D., medical director of Health and Human Services Agency’s Epidemiology and Immunization Services branch. “Contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy puts you at greater risk of having serious complications and death. We urge anyone who is pregnant and unvaccinated to get immunized to protect themselves and their babies.”
On Oct. 6, the County Health and Human Services Agency issued a health alert to the local medical community alerting them of an increase in cases and hospitalizations of unvaccinated pregnant women and encouraging them to urge their patients to get vaccinated.
From June 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, there have been 253 laboratory-confirmed cases among pregnant people, including 203 among those not fully vaccinated compared to 50 who were fully vaccinated. Of the 253, a total of 31 required hospitalization; 30 of those hospitalized were not fully vaccinated.
Not fully vaccinated is defined as being unvaccinated or having received a single dose of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Fully vaccinated is defined as being 14-days after the 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In late September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory strongly recommending that people get vaccinated against COVID-19 either before, during, or after pregnancy —including those who are breastfeeding — because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known and potential risks.
According to the CDC, pregnant people who contract and develop symptoms from COVID-19 “have a two-fold risk of admission into intensive care and a 70% increased risk of death.”