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Tracking COVID-19 in Pregnant Women and Infants


  • CDC needed data rapidly on COVID-19 effects on pregnant women.
  • Abt leveraged its existing infrastructure to track COVID-19 during pregnancy and infancy.
  • Results are ongoing.
The Challenge

Pregnant women may be more vulnerable than the general population to respiratory infections and severe respiratory complications from COVID-19, and CDC needs more research on their potential effects on birth outcomes to continue to guide the public. In particular, CDC needs timely information on the risk factors for infection, characteristics of COVID-19 illness and complications, and the effects of infection on pregnancy and infant outcomes. A better understanding may help inform future public health COVID-19 policy for pregnant women and infants.

The Approach

Abt used an existing network of sites and protocols from CDC Pandemic Flu and Global Flu contracts to study COVID-19 in pregnant women. The studies included a retrospective electronic medical record review of women seeking prenatal care and a community-based cohort seeking prenatal care at participating clinics followed throughout pregnancy. We identified COVID-19 (and vaccine) knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, pregnancy/infant outcomes, and potential COVID-19 cases. The data can improve modelling of respiratory illness burden and characteristics during pregnancy.