SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County announced Friday the county's first death of a pregnant woman from COVID-19.
The San Diego woman was unvaccinated and died earlier this week after being hospitalized, as did her unborn child, according to the county's Health and Human Services Agency. Her age and other details about her death and pregnancy are not being reported to protect her and her family's privacy, the county added.
Reports of the woman's death come days after the county issued an alert to the medical community regarding increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations of unvaccinated pregnant people.
"This is a very unfortunate death, and our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased," Seema Shah, medical director of HHSA’s Epidemiology and Immunization Services branch, said in a release. "Contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy puts you at greater risk of having serious complications and death. We urge anyone who is pregnant and unvaccinated to get immunized to protect themselves and their babies."
From June 1 through Sept. 30, the county has recorded 253 confirmed COVID-19 cases among pregnant individuals, including 203 among those not fully vaccinated. On the 253, 31 required hospitalization — 30 of those people were not fully vaccinated.
The county is continuing to urge pregnant people to get vaccinated, citing the CDC's advisory recommending people get vaccinated either before, during, or after pregnancy, including those who are breastfeeding.
"This is heartbreaking and tragic news that a pregnant mother and her unborn baby have died from this terrible disease," said Dr. Joanna Adamczak, a maternal-fetal specialist and chief medical officer of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. "We, as health care providers, urgently encourage anyone who is pregnant, or plans to get pregnant, to get the vaccine. It provides important protection for both mom and baby."
The CDC has reported that pregnant individuals who contract and develop symptoms from COVID-19, “have a two-fold risk of admission into intensive care and a 70% increased risk of death.”
In San Diego County, nearly 80% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. For more information on getting vaccinated, visit the county's website here.