Health & Fitness

COVID vaccine for pregnant women: What you need to know before the jab

Earlier, the Health Ministry had said, “women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy” since they had not been part of any COVID vaccine trials

UPDATED: June 26, 2021 10:53 IST

In its latest statement, the Union Health Ministry said pregnant women “can and should” get the COVID vaccine.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had said, “women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy…should not receive COVID-19 vaccine” since they had not been part of any COVID vaccine trials. Following the recent National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) meeting on May 28, it has been recommended that pregnant women should also be vaccinated since “exposure probability is very high” and that the “benefit far outweighs the risk”.

However, NTAGI recommended the following safety precautions for pregnant women:

*They should be fully informed that “the long-term adverse reactions and the safety of the vaccine for foetus and child are not yet established.”

*It is recommended that they follow the 30 minutes of in-hospital observation rule post-vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccine can be provided any time during pregnancy, it further said.

Dr Nupur Gupta, director, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, warned that pregnant women can get vaccinated only after consultation with their gynaecologist. “Vaccination for COVID 19 during pregnancy has been given a nod in India after what we have experienced during the second wave. It will be of great benefit to get themselves vaccinated. However, it should be in consultation with their gynaecologist with an informed consent explaining the pros and cons of the emergency approval given the current pandemic situation,” she told.

Talking about the need for getting vaccinated, Dr Gupta added, “It will especially be useful for pregnant women with comorbidities and those who are at high risk for exposure due to their work.”

“We still don’t have trials on the vaccines that are available in India. But since pregnant women account for a large segment of our population (five per cent), it is worthwhile to get them vaccinated. Pregnant women now have a choice and can take their own decision in consultation with their doctor,” the doctor said.

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