Pregnancy is always associated with a number of doubts and myths. As it is all about giving birth, there
are various sorts of tensions in the pregnant woman not only about the health of the baby but also
about her own health. Now with the Covid-19 pandemic, the tensions and fears are on the rise.
The same also continues with the COVID vaccination. Fake news against vaccination for pregnant
women which is spreading on social media, creates fear among the pregnant women? Is there any
valid reason for these fears? Let's look.
Pregnancy & Chances of Catching Covid-19
Studies prove that pregnant woman is not ' more likely' to get Covid-19 but is equally prone to any other
healthy adults. At the same time, the risks of becoming severely unwell or having pregnancy
complications like preeclampsia, preterm birth, or stillbirth are more with the pregnant woman if they
Is it safe to get vaccinated during pregnancy?
People have always been suspicious over the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy? However, evidence about its effectiveness has been growing.
Brushing aside any known or potential risks, new data and studies suggest pregnant women receive COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy but cautiously depending on the health conditions of the woman which she needs to disclose to the doctor and health professional before receiving the vaccination.
None of the COVID-19 or other vaccines contains any virus that can cause COVID-19. So no vaccine makes anyone sick with COVID-19. Thus, receiving vaccination will not make any pregnant woman or their babies affected with COVID 19.
COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for all who are 12 years of age or older. Including breastfeeding moms, they are not an exception to this.
The effect of vaccines is not studied in breastfeeding women. Thus the clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the United States did not include their data. There is no real data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in breastfeeding women.
We also have very little or limited data on:
- Effects of COVID-19 vaccination on the breastfed baby.
- Effects on milk production or excretion.
Still, vaccination is recommended on grounds that COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause infection in anyone, including the mother or the baby. Secondly, the vaccines are proven to prevent people including breastfeeding people from getting COVID-19.
Recent studies have identified antibodies in the breastmilk of those who received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. These antibodies are expected to help protect their babies from the pandemic. Still, the data is not sufficient enough to reach a conclusion as to how far and what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby in preventing COVID-19 and other ailments.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, on 16th of April 2021, advised all pregnant women to take the COVID-19 vaccine in line with the age group rollout.
Previously they suggested those pregnant women who are with high-risk medical conditions or at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, consider having a vaccine in pregnancy.
COVID Vaccination is treated as the best option to protect both pregnant women and the baby from the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy including admission to intensive care and premature birth.
No COVID-19 vaccines contain ingredients that may cause harm to either pregnant women or to the developing baby. Studies of the vaccines in pregnant animals to identify its effects in pregnancy have shown that vaccine causes harm neither to the pregnancy nor to the fertility.
As per the available data, a vaccinated pregnant woman is comparatively safer from the risks of having adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Research from six studies in four countries, involving over 40,000 pregnant ladies, showed that getting the vaccine does not increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, etc. It also suggests that vaccination does not increase any risks related to pregnancy.
Among these, the study done by the St George’s University of London was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology -AJOG.
The research compared pregnancy outcomes for pregnant women who were vaccinated and those who were not and found that there were no significant differences between the two groups.