US Maternal Death Rates Up Sharply
CDC Oblivious to COVID-19 Illness and Vaccination as Determinants
By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
Modern obstetrical care in the US has had a major impact in reducing maternal death rates over several decades. Now there is reversal of these trends. From the start of the pandemic there have been reports with mixed results for mortality among pregnant women with COVID-19 infection and after COVID-19 vaccination. Sadly, many women have had both exposures in 2021 and beyond.
The CDC reports that ~65% of women have taken a vaccine—most before conception and the remainder through the term of gestation. This occurred because the CDC advised that pregnant women take this risk with no assurances on the health of the mother or baby through pregnancy.
Now the CDC is reporting record maternal death rates in 2021 compared to prior decades and in the report by Hoyert et al, has shown a stepwise increase for death during or shortly after pregnancy. All groups are up but the worst is for African American women.
While lockdowns, reduced access to prenatal care, and a variety of factors could be related to maternal outcomes, the CDC report is willfully blind to major exposures 1) acute COVID-19 which could have played a role in 2020 and 2) COVID-19 vaccination which was prevalent in 65% of mothers in 2021. The CDC must open up all data on COVID-19 cases and vaccination to researchers for urgent epidemiologic evaluation of these disturbing trends. Death among pregnant women should be a top priority for public health researchers.
Women of childbearing age and pregnant women should refrain from COVID-19 vaccination given its pregnancy category X status and the absence of any assurances on short or long-term safety.
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