What do we know today about the benefits and risks of vaccination in pregnant women?
Does the vulnerability of this particular population to infection justify getting vaccinated?
Can pregnant women take Covid Vaccine?
Know everything here…
Should you be vaccinated when you are expecting a child?
According to discussions on forums and social networks, many expectant mothers were wondering about the possible repercussions on the course of their pregnancy and on the health of their child.
There s no need to hesitate anymore as pregnant women in India have been declared totally eligible to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus with the Union Health Ministry recently giving the approval based on recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
Vaccination during pregnancy: Are COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnancy?
Yes, Vaccine is safe for pregnant women.
In a study published in March 2021 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, researchers assessed the immune response of pregnant women following vaccination, compared to that of women who were vaccinated but not pregnant. They observed that the antibody levels generated by the vaccine were similar in the two types of patients.
The researchers then compared these results with those of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not vaccinated: they showed that the level of antibodies neutralizing the virus in all women (pregnant and non-pregnant) was higher after vaccination only after a “natural” infection. It has also been observed that the antibodies from the vaccination pass through the placenta, potentially offering protection to the newborn. A phenomenon that is also found in women vaccinated against whooping cough or influenza during pregnancy.
These results show that vaccination allows the expectant mother to develop a robust immune response against the disease, and that pregnancy is not an obstacle to the effectiveness of this protection.
In addition, a cohort study published in July 2021 compared two groups of pregnant women (in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy) over one year, one vaccinated, the other not. The results confirm that RNA vaccination significantly reduces the risk of infection, and no severe side effects were observed.
Based on preliminary data analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on pregnant women vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine between December 2020 and February 2021, the most common side effects after injection (aches, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, etc.) are similar to those encountered by women who are not pregnant.
In this study, among children born to women vaccinated against Covid-19, 9% were premature and 2% had a birth defect. These results are similar in unvaccinated women, and these complications have not been linked to the vaccine. However, it should be noted that, in the CDC data, the women in the sample were all vaccinated in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Another study published in NEJM in April 2021 confirms these results. It also underlines that pregnancy complications (prematurity, miscarriages, etc.) are not more frequent in vaccinated women.
In all cases, before any vaccination, health professionals must inform future mothers of the data known to date in order to allow them to make an informed choice. It should be noted that researchers and doctors also recommend that expectant mothers should get vaccinated before conception, in order to reduce the risk of contamination with Covid-19 during pregnancy.
In conclusion, the data concerning the benefits and risks of vaccination for pregnant women and their unborn child are therefore reassuring to date. The WHO believes that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. They recommend that pregnant women most likely to be exposed to the virus, as well as those with co-morbidities, to be vaccinated as a priority. In addition, there would be no contraindications for healthy pregnant women to be vaccinated in India as vaccines safe during pregnancy.
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