NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research: Maternal morbidity, pregnancy outcomes and more


Many of the goals mentioned in the plan intersect with the mission of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research, which aims to accelerate development of therapeutic interventions, vaccines and diagnostics. The plan consists of five elements:

  • Building on fundamental and foundational knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 through investments in NIH and NIH-funded researchers
  • Utilizing NIH’s recently launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative to speed innovation in COVID-19 testing technologies
  • Engaging in public-private partnerships, such as NIH’s Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, as well as Federal partnerships such as Operation Warp Speed
  • Supporting studies that explore preventive treatments and behavior community prevention practices to promote individual and community-wide safety
  • Ensuring accessible and available diagnosis, treatment and prevention options for underserved and vulnerable, at-risk populations

Many of the goals mentioned above intersect with those of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH).

In fact, the strategic plan notes that it will address maternal health and pregnancy outcomes as they relate to COVID-19 in ongoing and future studies, with consideration of COVID-19 and “maternal morbidity, pregnancy-related alterations to the immune system, preterm birth, infant health, prenatal and postnatal care, rate of cesarean section delivery, possible mother-to-fetus transmission, possible mother-to-child transmission at birth, and possible transmission via breastfeeding.”1

More information on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research can be found here.


  1. NIH Releases Strategic Plan For COVID-19 Research. News release. National Institutes of Health; July 23, 2020.
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