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A growing number of local governments have been putting pregnant women on the priority list for COVID-19 vaccinations following the death of a newborn earlier this month after the mother, who was infected with the coronavirus, was forced to give birth at home due to a shortage of hospital beds.

The woman in her 30s gave birth to the baby prematurely on Aug. 17 at her home in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture. At least nine hospitals turned away the woman, who had moderate symptoms, as they were all unable to take in a pregnant patient. The baby boy, born in the 29th week of pregnancy, was pronounced dead after being rushed to a hospital.

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