Pregnant women should receive two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves from the Delta variant of coronavirus, a Turkish expert said on Thursday.
"It has been scientifically proven that the probability of maternal death, preeclampsia and preterm birth is much higher in those who are infected with the coronavirus," Bahar Astepe, a gynecologist at the University of Health Science in Kocaeli, northwestern Turkey, said in a written statement.
Reminding that the rate of intensive care, intubation and death of pregnant women increased much more than non-pregnant women, she noted that as of August, there is a significant rise in the number of pregnant women with COVID-19 due to the transmission of the Delta variant.
The rate of pregnant women hospitalized for intensive care, intubated and died is much higher compared to non-pregnant women, she said, citing scientific studies.
Astepe also said there has been a significant rise since August in the number of pregnant women with COVID-19 due to the transmission of the Delta variant.
"When we look at the results of animal experiments and vaccines administered to pregnant women, it has been revealed that these vaccines do not have harmful effects during pregnancy ... That is why we believe the vaccine is safe," she added.
Astepe recommended that pregnant women get two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be protected from the Delta variant, adding they can receive their jabs at any time.
"I strongly recommend that they get two doses of vaccine to protect the health of the babies and to prevent the negative consequences that may occur in the winter period," she concluded.
The Delta variant has led to a surge in coronavirus cases, particularly in hard-hit communities with under-vaccinated populations.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.72 million lives in at least 192 countries and regions, with over 230 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' Johns Hopkins University.