Cova, Tanya Lewis, Josh Fishman discussed on 60-Second Science
Hi and welcome to combine quickly. Scientific american podcast series. This is your fast track update on the kovin. Pandemic we bring you up to speed on the science behind the most urgent questions about the virus and the disease we demystify the research and help you understand what it really means. I'm tanya lewis. I'm josh fishman. Rear scientific american senior health editors today. We're going to talk about why vaccines are safe for. Pregnant people who are at higher risk of severe cohen and the arrival of a new. Covert antiviral pill. That could cut the risk of severe illness. The cds strongly recommends that pregnant people get vaccinated against kovic yet here in the us. Few of them have and that's creating dangerous situation for both parents in babies. That's right josh. Only about a third of pregnant people in the country have gotten their kovic shots despite a growing pile of evidence that they are not only safe during pregnancy but may save the parents and baby's life freelancer mariana. Lenora reported on some of this research for siam earlier this week studies. Now show that pregnant people who get kovin are more likely to be hospitalized. One study that compared pregnant people with and without cova found that those with the disease had a higher risk of pre eclampsia a form of high blood pressure and preterm birth. Furthermore pregnant people with covert were five times. More likely to be admitted to an icu. And twenty two times more likely to die than those without cova. The risk increases with the number of underlying health conditions such as obesity or high blood pressure and the delta variant. Makes things worse. The cdc reported that a total of one hundred sixty one. Kobe deaths had occurred in pregnant women as of late september. Twenty two of them in august alone lenora talked to romeo galangue and obstetrician-gynecologist. At the cdc he said that this number represents the highest number of deaths in pregnant individuals in a single month of the pandemic. The good news is the vaccines are safe. For pregnant people and analysis of more than thirty nine hundred pregnant people who got vaccinated found that they did not have higher rates miscarriages birth defects or preterm birth than those who were unvaccinated. Another study of more than two thousand vaccinated pregnant people also showed that they had no increased risk to their babies and contrary to some claims. The vaccines do not affect fertility. Although kobe itself might the. Cdc now strongly recommends vaccination either before or during pregnancy saying the benefits outweigh the risks for both the parent and the baby. So if you're pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant now is the time to roll up the sleeves. Now we're at the part of the show. When every few episodes i get josh to pronounce a complicated drug name. Or any josh. Bring it on tanya. Okay go for it. It's mal new pure of your this time. Mal new pure aveer. How did i do ten pretty good to me now. Can you explain what it does against cova. It's a pill and it may keep some at risk people from getting severely sick and dying if they take it soon after their infected there was a cascade of headlines about the drug last weekend. Merck the drug company that owns rights to the pill. Put out a press release. It said that in people with at least one covered risk factor such as being over sixty five mall nuclear cut the likelihood of hospitalization and death from about fourteen percent to about seven percent. Basically it cut that danger in half now. This was a press release in the fda has to review the data in a will. Because the company said it's going to apply for emergency. fda authorization for use. What could be a big deal is that this is a pill into the mouth and swallowed twice a day for five days other treatments like monoclonal. Antibodies have to be infused into your veins or injected. Which makes them hard to give outside of a hospital. Appeal will be easier to give to sick people all over the world or easier to get at your local. Cvs i wanna point out. One thing merck and collaborator ridgeback bio therapeutics didn't invent this pill it came from university researchers were working on an nih grant scientists at emory university vanderbilt university and the university of north carolina. Were the ones who figured out that. The drug could muck up the viruses ability to make copies of itself that stops an infection from getting worse in lab experiments. The drug appears to work against several variants too. So if the drug does end up helping people it's a win not just patients. It also shows the power of basic research and the tax dollars that support..