A new study found that pregnant women who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are more likely to contract the virus than non-pregnant patients.
The study, from medical records company Epic, is the broadest study of infection among vaccinated individuals with a variety of medical conditions.
“If you are fully vaccinated, that’s magnificent,” said physician David R. Little, a lead author of the study and Epic researcher. “But if you are fully vaccinated and become pregnant, you remain at higher risk of acquiring COVID.”
The Wisconsin-based company maintains electronic patient records for approximately 1,000 hospitals and over 20,000 clinics.
The medical records of roughly 13.8 million Americans in a dozen states were analyzed to determine which group of people has the greatest risk of developing COVID-19.
In addition to pregnancy, the research team considered 11 comorbidities, including being an organ transplant recipient and having cancer, among other conditions.
Researchers evaluated pairs of fully vaccinated patients from the same part of the country where one patient had one comorbidity under analysis and the other did not. Patients were not matched by age and pregnant women were not compared to other women exclusively.
“The findings come on top of research showing that people who are pregnant or gave birth recently and became infected are especially prone to getting seriously ill from covid-19,” reports The Washington Post. “COVID has been found to increase the risk of pregnancy complications, such as premature births.”
Business Insider reports that experts have continued to urge pregnant women to get vaccinated and say the vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of complications.
Vaccination rates among pregnant women remained low throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public health officials say the low vaccination rates can be attributed to caution around the time of pregnancy, concern for the baby, barriers to health care, and misinformation promoted online,” per WebMD.
In total, Epic researchers evaluated the records of 110,00o pregnant women. Data indicated they were 90% more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than their non-pregnant counterparts.
Organ transplant recipients had the second-highest risk of contracting COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.
Vaccinated individuals with Down syndrome or cancer did not have an increased or decreased risk of contracting a breakthrough case of the virus.