(AP) — A multi-country study suggests pregnant women who get Covid-19 have higher risks for death, intensive-care stays, preterm birth and other complications.
Pregnancy causes various changes in the body that may make women vulnerable to harm from the coronavirus. Pregnant women can gain some protection by getting vaccinated; recent evidence suggests the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are safe to use in pregnancy.
The results were published on Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, which echo smaller studies. The research involved women in 18 countries, including the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The study involved about 700 pregnant women with Covid-19 and 1,400 without it. It was sponsored by a research fund at the University of Oxford, there the lead authors work.
On Wednesday, the preliminary results of a report of 35,000 U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant showed their rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications were comparable to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— AP explains why India is shattering global infection records
— German ‘emergency brake’ plan on virus clears last hurdle
— Nurse who underwent double-lung transplant confronts life after COVID-19
— Viral questions: How long does protection from vaccines last?
Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican will give the second dose of coronavirus vaccines to some of the 1,400 homeless people, migrants and poor who got their first shot a few weeks ago in the walled city state.
The inoculation session Friday in the Vatican auditorium comes as Pope Francis celebrates a feast day honoring the saint of his birthname — Giorgio, or Jorge. The Vatican says the 600 people who will get their second doses of Pfizer will join Francis in a party.
They received their first doses during Holy Week leading up to Easter.
The Vatican City State purchased its own vaccines to inoculate Holy See citizens and staff. It has been giving its extra doses to the neediest around Rome. In addition, the pope has been making regular donations of ventilators and other medical equipment to poor countries.
CAIRO — Developers of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine say they signed a deal with a leading Egyptian pharmaceutical company to manufacture more than 40 million doses annually in Cairo.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, along with Egypt’s Minapharm and its Berlin-based subsidiary, issued a joint press release saying the technology transfer will begin immediately. It expects the roll out of the Sputnik V vaccine in the third quarter of 2021.
The production will take place in Minapharm’s biotech facility in Cairo for global distribution.
CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev says in the release: “The Russian vaccine is highly efficient and trusted by regulators around the world and makes a huge contribution in the fight against coronavirus.”
The Russian vaccine has demonstrated efficacy of 97.6% and been approved by drug authorities in 61 countries so far, according to Dmitriev. Russia has been marketing Sputnik V abroad, despite the comparatively slow rollout at home and limited production capacities.
DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s health minister says the government has received a batch of 203,000 COVID-19 vaccines as part of a push to speed up inoculations in the war-torn country.
The arrival of the United Nations-secured shots on Thursday comes as a new wave of infections overwhelms medical centers around Syria. The AstraZeneca vaccines are part of a campaign aiming to vaccinate 20% of the country’s population before the end of the year.