Daily Video

October 3, 2021

Daily News Lesson: Just 32% of pregnant women in U.S. are vaccinated, divide worsening along racial lines


Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Some students may find it easier to read along with the transcript or turn on closed captions/CC.

Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its most urgent appeal for pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine. New CDC data shows that pregnant women are twice as likely to be hospitalized due to the virus. Just 32% of women in the U.S. are currently vaccinated, and the racial disparities are stark. New CDC data show that pregnant women are twice as likely to be hospitalized if they get the coronavirus. More than 22,000 women have been hospitalized so far; 161 have died, and 22 of those deaths were in August. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 700,000 Americans have died from COVID. Amna Nawaz explores the issue with gynecologist Dr. Joia Crear-Perry.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is interviewed in this piece and what is her background?
  • What are the reasons it’s especially important for pregnant women to avoid COVID?
  • When did the rate of pregnant women becoming hospitalized or dying of COVID increase?
  • Why are pregnant women vaccinated at lower rates than the national average?
  • How can doctors encourage more pregnant women to get vaccinated, according to Crear-Perry?

Focus questions: 

  • According to Dr. Crear-Perry, a lack of trust in the medical profession among some in the Black and Latino communities may be driving low vaccination rates. What do you think are some ways to increase this trust?
  • What might be some other reasons pregnant women are vaccinated at lower rates than the U.S. average, and what do you think are some ways to remove those barriers?
  • “…it’s important to talk to your provider (doctor or health care professional), which is probably one of the reasons why we see lower rates with black and Latino folks,” Crear-Perry said, “because we don’t have necessarily a continuous provider…” Study the following chart to learn more about the health insurance disparities in the U.S.:

While the U.S. government has stepped in to make sure everyone gets vaccinated for free whether or not they have health insurance, how might a system of universal health care (i.e. Medicare for All) have affected rates of vaccine hesitancy, particularly among people of color? Explain.

Media literacy: What do you think could be learned by interviewing pregnant women who are hesitant to get vaccinated in addition to a doctor or expert in the field?

Additional resources:

  • Want to learn more about health care inequalities that may have led to a lack of trust in the medical community? Check out this lesson.
  • For more on race and vaccine hesitancy, see this lesson.


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