Health officials say spike in pregnant women deaths all among unvaccinated

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 2:27 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Officials with Mississippi State Department of Health are discussing the latest on COVID-19 in Mississippi.

Topics they are set to discuss are another pediatric death, increasing deaths in pregnant women and a continuing lack of ICU beds.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says there is finally a decline in cases and hospitalizations, but the increase from the Delta variant has caused a lot of unnecessary deaths, and “we’re still in the thick of it.”

Dobbs says they’ve seen a surge of pregnant woman who have died in the past few weeks, all of whom were unvaccinated. He did not specify how many pregnant woman have died.

“COVID in general is particularly dangerous for pregnant women,” Dobbs said.

He says the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and is recommended because of the possible side effects to the baby as well. He also says the CDC strongly recommends pregnant women get vaccinated.

“We have almost 1.5 million people, almost half of the state have received at least one dose,” Dobbs said. “...but we don’t have nearly enough people in the state who are immune.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers confirmed another pediatric death in the state. He did not specify the child’s age.

“I just want to be clear, the biggest thing we recommend at the department of health, get monoclonal antibodies,” Byers said, in reference to Ivermectin.

He says monoclonal antibodies are proven to help in COVID patients and urged people to only take medication that has been recommended by a doctor.

In reference to the Mu variant, Byers said the Delta variant is still overwhelmingly the predominant strain in Mississippi and the United States. He says they have identified cases of the Mu variant dating back to May, but they have not seen wide transmission of Mu, or any other strain except Delta.

Senior Deputy and Director of Health Protection Jim Craig says patients are still waiting on ICU beds across the state.

He says ICU bed capacity is still zero in Mississippi.

Craig says the field hospital, set up with assistance from Samaritan’s Purse, is in the process of being taken down.

He says they have received two advanced support strike teams, called into Mississippi by FEMA, that will help deal with a shortage of EMS services in the state.

On the topic of football games, Dobbs says that outdoor gatherings are mostly safe. He says you should wear a mask if you get up from your seat, but that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outside.

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