Inclusion of pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine development – The Lancet

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Inclusion of pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine development – The Lancet


On Dec 31, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission (Wuhan, China), reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia to WHO. A novel coronavirus was identified—severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)—and the outbreak was declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January, 2020. The virus subsequently spread rapidly throughout China and other countries worldwide, and on March 11, 2020, the outbreak was declared a pandemic. Since March 11, 2020, the virus has continued to spread, causing substantial morbidity and mortality in many countries.

In previous outbreaks of other coronavirus infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome, serious complications were reported in pregnant women.

  • Lam CM
  • Wong SF
  • Leung TN
  • et al.

A case-controlled study comparing clinical course and outcomes of pregnant and non-pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

  • Alfaraj SH
  • Al-Tawfiq JA
  • Memish ZA

During the 2009 influenza A H1N1 pandemic, pregnant women accounted for 5% of US deaths, while representing only 1% of the US population.

  • Siston AM
  • Rasmussen SA
  • Honein MA
  • et al.

Pandemic 2009 influenza A(H1N1) virus illness among pregnant women in the United States.

However, despite more than 18 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide,

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Coronavirus resource center: COVID-19 dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

understanding of the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on pregnant women, fetuses, and infants is incomplete.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of mainly small case series reported that a high proportion of women with confirmed COVID-19 infection had preterm birth (

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