The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reports 14 COVID-19 severe pregnancy outcomes resulting in critical illness or death throughout Louisiana since mid-July of this year, an alarming trend as the Delta variant circulates around the state. All 14 cases involved mothers who were unvaccinated, and resulted in 6 maternal deaths and 10 fetal deaths.

“More COVID-19-related maternal and fetal deaths have been reported during the Delta surge than the total number of COVID-19 severe pregnancy outcomes reported during the previous 15 months of the pandemic in Louisiana. It’s a tragic reminder of the vulnerability of pregnant individuals and their children to this highly contagious illness,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “Babies rely upon us and their parents for protection. We must do everything we can, including getting the COVID vaccine, to ensure safe and healthy birth outcomes.”

People who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 compared to those who are not pregnant. LDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all people, including pregnant individuals, receive their COVID-19 vaccination. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also recommend that all eligible people, including pregnant and lactating individuals, be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at protecting against severe illness from COVID-19, and they are the best means of keeping our communities, including people who are pregnant, safe. 

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Those who have questions or concerns should talk to their doctors. Those without access to primary care provider can call Louisiana’s COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 and speak directly with a medical professional.