Pregnant Albertans urged to get vaccinated as ICU numbers spike

A doctor prepares a pregnant woman for vaccination. (Getty Images)

Alberta Health Services is urging those who are pregnant, have recently delivered or who are trying to become pregnant to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

According to AHS, six pregnant Albertans were admitted to intensive care units throughout the province in August due to COVID-19.

AHS said all six patients were unvaccinated.

"To put this into context, only seven pregnant Albertans were admitted to ICU for COVID-19 during the entire first year of the pandemic from March 2020 to March 2021," AHS said.

"In the six cases last month, COVID-19 had severe impacts on the parent’s health, as well as the child’s. Five preterm births occurred as early as 29 weeks."

As of Monday afternoon, there were 256 patients in Alberta ICUs, including 198 being treated for COVID-19.

According to AHS, 79 per cent of those are not vaccinated.

ICU capacity in Alberta on Monday was at 90 per cent. Without added surge spaces, AHS said that number would be 148 per cent.

AHS said pregnant individuals are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant.

"Immunization is the best way to protect mother and child."

AHS said the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant individuals and their babies, as well as those trying to become pregnant.

"It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get COVID-19 disease."

"The mRNA vaccines are the safest type of COVID-19 vaccine to get during pregnancy and you can get the vaccine at any time (any trimester) during pregnancy."