The Canadian Surveillance of COVID‑19 in Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes
Towards the goal of understanding the burden of COVID‑19 on pregnancy, the Canadian Surveillance of COVID‑19 in Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes (CANCOVID-Preg) was initiated. CANCOVID-preg is a national surveillance project that tracks all pregnant cases with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. To date, our team has developed four reports outlining preliminary Canadian data from a subset of provinces. Results indicate that pregnant persons are at increased risk of severe illness related to COVID-19. These reports were, in turn, used by public health officials in the decision to prioritize pregnant populations for vaccination in Canada and informed three statements on COVID‑19 in pregnancy published by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Despite public health recommendations, high rates of vaccine hesitancy exist among pregnant persons. Additionally, a proportion of fully vaccinated individuals are now developing symptomatic, or asymptomatic, COVID‑19 breakthrough infections. With lower vaccination rates, and the occurrence of breakthrough infections, the need to understand variant transmission and severity over time, in vaccinated and unvaccinated, pregnant populations has become a crucial next step in the rapidly evolving pandemic. By directly addressing the health of this underserved population, CANCOVID-Preg meets the Differential Impacts of COVID‑19 on Historically Excluded or Underserved Populations research area. This project also meets both CIHR objectives by leveraging CANCOVID-Preg’s existing surveillance network and real-time evidence to optimize Canada’s pandemic response, thereby mitigating the negative consequences of COVID‑19 for both new mothers and their infants.