After recording close to 2,000 women with children contracting COVID-19, doctors have warned that pregnant women are around three times at risk of contracting the virus but noted vaccination reduces the chance of severe symptoms and death.
Director-General of the Department of Health Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai indicated that from December 2020 to August 11 of this year, 1,993 women contracted the COVID-19 virus. Of the total, 1,315 were Thai nationals and 678 were foreigners. Ten had received the vaccine and 113 of their children contracted the virus.
Dr. Suwanchai reported that 37 of the mothers died, as did 20 children with 11 dying at birth, 9 perished during the first 7 days after birth. Another two infant deaths tied to the virus were reported in Chainat and Udon Thani provinces on August 13. The Mor Prom system shows that 7,935 women have received their first dose of vaccine with 574 having received both doses.
Of the 37 fatalities, 7 of the women were in Bangkok with the other 30 in the provinces. Sixteen passed away during childbirth and 16 afterwards. Most of the women who passed away, died during the latter stages of their pregnancy with aggravating factors including obesity, being over the age of 35, hypertension, diabetes and narcotics use.
Dr. Suwanchai noted most of the infections among pregnant women occurred during the second wave between December 2020 and March 2021 with virus contraction occurring at an average rate of 25 people per month. The rate rose to about 200 women per month during the third wave from April 2021 with 800 women becoming infected in July alone. Fatalities began in April of this year. The doctor urged pregnant women to be extra vigilant and to seek vaccination after 12 weeks of pregnancy as they are three times more likely to experience severe symptoms from COVID-19. (NNT)