Is COVID-19 vaccination safe for pregnant women? All the key questions answered
The second wave of coronavirus is wreaking havoc on India and the world and pregnant women are at greater risk and need more protection than ever. Apart from following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing a mask, using a sanitizer, regular washing of hands, and maintaining social distancing, it is also important to get oneself vaccinated.
However, there is an endless debate on the internet on whether or not expectant mothers are safe to get vaccinated. The coronavirus vaccination drive kicked off in India in January 2021, but there is still a large part of the population that awaits a slot.
Is it safe to get vaccinated during pregnancy?
The risk of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy is low, but COVID-related illnesses are high compared to the non-pregnant group of women. There is still no recommendation on the use of the vaccine in pregnancy, clinical trials are still going on. In the US pregnant women are going for vaccination.
On the other hand, MoHFW and the Government of India have recommended, as no clinical trials have been done so far, that pregnant and lactating should avoid the vaccine (for now).
Are there any precautions to take?
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) wants women to make an informed decision regarding vaccination.
Are there any side effects involved?
Side effects related to vaccination can be fever, soreness at the injection site, and mild cold-like symptoms.
Can lactating and breastfeeding women go for COVID-19 vaccination?
Breastfeeding women can go for vaccination if they fall under the high-risk group and if they are health care workers. As mentioned above, GOI and MoHFW have not recommended vaccination for lactating mothers in India.
In conclusion, women planning their pregnancy can take the COVID-19 vaccine if they choose to do so and women who are trying to conceive do not need to postpone pregnancy after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.