On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued urgent guidance recommending pregnant women to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus, according to NBC News.

The agency said the guidance has come after the nation reported more than a quarter-million coronavirus cases in pregnant women, with nearly 22,000 of them getting hospitalized.

The CDC said more than 160 pregnant women have died of COVID-19, with 22 deaths occurred in August alone. Less than one-third of pregnant women have been vaccinated so far, according to the agency.

The new guidance strengthens the previous CDC recommendation issued last month when it first advised pregnant women to get vaccinated.

It is clear that people who have comorbidities or underlying medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness or even complications associated with the coronavirus.

Pregnancy is also considered one of the underlying health conditions. And pregnant women are at higher risk of developing COVID complications. Some of these complications have already occurred in pregnant women who were unvaccinated.

One of the COVID complications during pregnancy is preterm birth, which can put newborns and pregnant women at risk.

Generally, premature babies are at risk of having a compromised respiratory function as their lungs are underdeveloped. And premature babies with underdeveloped lungs are more likely to catch COVID, causing additional breathing issues.

Some youngest COVID patients were put on ventilators.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their health care provider about the protective benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe.”

Experts have found that most pregnant women hesitate to get the vaccine, with some of them falling prey to vaccine misinformation.

However, one study has shown no increased risk for miscarriage after at least one dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to NBC News. The rate of a miscarriage of nearly 2,500 women in the study was about the same as would be expected in the general population.