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Pregnancy and COVID-19: NIH Supports a Four-Year Follow-Up Study on the Long-Term Effects of Coronavirus on Pregnant Women

Pregnancy and COVID-19
Pregnant women have higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 on women who contracted the disease while pregnant is a mystery to science. Due to this, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting a four-year follow-up study to find answers.

Pregnant Vaccination.

Pregnant Woman In Face Mask Getting Vaccinated in Clinic. (Photo: TIME Magazine)

NIH Seeks to Find Out Long-Term Effects of Coronavirus on Pregnancy

On Tuesday, November 2, NIH announced that it will support a study that will observe how COVID-19 has affected women who contracted coronavirus infection while being pregnant. Also, it will follow their offspring for any potential COVID-19-derived neurological or cardiovascular effects.

The study is part of the institutes’ Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative that aims to determine the reason why some people who contracted the disease do not fully recover or even develop some symptoms despite recovering from the infection, a phenomenon known as Long COVID.

These symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath, fever, sleep disorder, anxiety, and depression.

Experts Urge Pregnant Women to Get Vaccinated

News outlet Fox 5 Atlanta reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because they have a higher risk of having the severe form of the infection that may lead to pregnancy complications.

On the other hand, new survey data shows low levels of vaccine understanding and acceptance globally among pregnant women, Business Wire reported. Only 10 percent of respondents said that they are very well informed, while 30% said that they are somewhat very likely to get vaccinated.

But CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky assures that COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective. She noted that as the Delta variant continues to spread and cause severe outcomes of COVID-19 from unvaccinated people, this time has never been more urgent to increase vaccination efforts.