Multiple pregnant women died of COVID-19 in recent weeks at a single hospital, two Mississippi health leaders say.
“I know at one of the major hospitals here in Jackson, there have been several pregnant women die with COVID within the past couple of weeks,” Mississippi State Medical Association President Mark Horne said during a Mississippi State Medical Association discussion on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, who attended the meeting, confirmed the deaths. “And we’re talking c-sections in the ICU so you can get the baby out before the mom dies,” Dobbs said.
“The seasoned OBGYNs and critical-care specialists said this never happens. Never,” Horne replied, referring to the rarity of ICU c-section deliveries involving ventilated patients.
The men did not name the hospital, say how old the women were or mention their vaccination status. But Dr. Dobbs did provide information on the vaccination status of the age group that accounts for most pregnancies. He noted that about 900 Mississippians died of COVID-19 in August.
“In that number, 61 of those who died were between the ages of 18 and 39. Not a single one of them was vaccinated,” the state health officer said. “I feel confident, if they had been vaccinated, every single one of those people would be with us today. It’s a stark and painful truth, but it’s just what the reality shows.”
Women between the ages of 20 and 39 account for about 92% of all live births in the U.S.; women over 40 account for just 3% of births.
COVID-19 is known to present more severe symptoms in pregnant women. Dr. Dobbs earlier discussed a case involving a pregnant woman during an Aug. 2, 2021, episode of MFP Live.
“I’ll tell you, last week I was visiting a hospital, and they had a woman who had to deliver a baby in her early 30s. I think the baby’s OK, but the woman died from COVID,” the state health officer said. “We know that pregnant women do much worse with COVID, and we know that the preeclampsia rate is looking really bad for women with COVID.”
Health officials recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated for COVID-19. Despite rumors online that COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility or pregnancy problems, rigorous scientific studies have found no evidence to corroborate those claims. However, a UC San Francisco study last month found that people who develop a case of COVID-19 illness during pregnancy are 60% more likely to have a preterm birth.
Similarly, there is no scientific evidence for the common myth that the vaccines can cause infertility in men, either. But numerous studies have linked COVID-19 infections to decreased male fertility and even erectile dysfunction.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows what can happen to your reproductive system from COVID infection.
“We’re seeing evidence of potential destructive changes in male testicles and reproductive health, in that regard, from the infection, right? And for women increased risk of preeclampsia, and that threatens the pregnancy and the health of the mom,” Dr. Dobbs told MFP Live on Aug. 2.
On July 30, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a practice advisory, saying that it “strongly recommends that all eligible persons receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series.”
“Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and have no scientific evidence supporting them. ACOG recommends vaccination for all eligible people who may consider future pregnancy,” the ACOG said.