Increased risk of NICU admissions, stillbirth for unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19 in Ohio


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA held a press conference Monday with other health leaders to urge pregnant women to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Kamilah Dixon-Shambley, MD, MA, Assistant Professor of OB-Gyn, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center also spoke at the press conference, along with Lisa Egbert, MD, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Paragon Women’s Care; President of the Ohio State Medical Association.

Last week the CDC issued an alert to women who are pregnant, recently pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant.

Pregnant women are considered high-risk when it comes to COVID-19, like people who have pre-existing conditions like breathing challenges or who are obese.

The federal health agency reports 97% of pregnant women who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

Coronavirus can cause pregnancy risks, according to the CDC.

Ohio doctors shared more about what they’ve seen, including an increased risk of the mom being hospitalized, as well as an increase in NICU admissions and stillbirth.

The CDC also reports there can be complications for the baby after birth.

Women who were infected most frequently got coronavirus during the third trimester.

The CDC data is based on cities, counties and states that track COVID-19 data on pregnant women and their infants.

Ohio does not have public data on pregnant women and the outcomes of their deliveries.

Dr. Egbert clarified several common misconceptions about the vaccine.

“There is no risk to fertility for men or women who are vaccinated,” she said.

She continued, “No studies show an increased risk of pregnancy complications for women who are pregnant and receive the vaccine.”

She also added that women who are vaccinated can provide antibodies for infants.

That vaccine can also provide additional antibodies for babies of women who breastfeed, she said.


  • No risk to fertility for men or women who are vaccinated – Dr. Egbert
  • Woman who are vaccinated for COVID-19 can provide antibodies to their babies for coronavirus through breastfeeding
  • No studies show an increased risk of pregnancy complications for women who are pregnant and receive the vaccine – Dr. Egbert
  • Pregnant women are considered high risk for COVID-19, even without other pre-existing conditions
  • Increase in NICU admissions, infant mortality
  • Increased risks of being hospitalized
  • Doctors say the COVID-19 vaccine can provide antibodies for infants
  • New updates coming to
  • ODH will start adding boosters or additional vaccine doses to its page tracking vaccinations
  • ODH will add new age breakdowns on the vaccination page
  • ODH will add people who got new infections on the dashboard as well (people who got COVID-19 more than once)
  • Updates will take place Monday afternoon
  • 3,485 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ohio (Ohio Hospital Association)
  • 1 in 6 patients in Ohio hospitals are COVID-19 positive
  • 957 people currently in the ICU with COVID-19

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