To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on maternal and neonatal outcomes the researchers studied 1,545 pregnant women diagnosed with the variant and 3,073 non-diagnosed, concomitant pregnant women as controls. The study was conducted between 27 November, 2021, and 30 June, 2022, during which time Omicron was the variant of concern. Vaccine effectiveness against the variant was also assessed.
COVID-19 Omicron variant during pregnancy was associated with increased risks of maternal morbidity, severe pregnancy complications, and hospital admission, especially among symptomatic and unvaccinated women. In particular, the risk of preeclampsia was increased among women with severe symptoms. Obese/overweight women with severe symptoms were at the highest risk for maternal morbidity and severe complications.
Vaccinated women were well protected against severe COVID-19 symptoms and complications and had a very low risk of admission to an intensive care unit. Prevention of severe COVID-19 symptoms and complications requires women to be completely vaccinated, preferably with a booster dose as well.
In the study, mRNA vaccines were most effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and complications, although viral vector vaccines with a booster also provided adequate protection – for at least 10 months after the last dose for both mRNA vaccines and viral vector vaccines with a booster.