ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The CDC is strengthening its guidance, recommending that pregnant women be vaccinated against COVID-19, especially amid the delta variant surge.

“Pregnant women tend to be sicker than women who are not pregnant when they get COVID. They have a higher risk of needing mechanical ventilations, being on a respirator, and a higher risk of death,” said Dr. Kenneth Baker, Chief of Obstetrics at St. Peter’s Hospital.

He says self-reported data from thousands of pregnant women who got the vaccine shows no increased risk of miscarriage or other health issues. The new guidance officially moves the CDC away from its previous neutral stance on whether immunization is safe for pregnant people.

“Pregnant women who had trepidation about the vaccine or still have trepidation about the vaccine should speak to their healthcare provider because we’re only seeing about 22% to 23% pregnant women are getting the vaccine versus the general population, which is climbing up toward the 70% range,” said Dr. Baker.

The other benefit of getting the vaccine is passing on antibodies to the baby through the placenta or breastmilk.