COVID-19 vaccination – Is It Safe for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women?
Dr. Mangla Dogra is an MBBS, MD(Obstetrics & Gynecologist), with experience of 34 years. She is Director & Senior Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynecologist at Dogra Nursing Home, Chandigarh. On receiving various questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination, Dr. Mangla Dogra stated the following:
Is it safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to get vaccinated?
During this testing time of covid-19 Pandemic, we are getting many queries about Corona vaccination during pregnancy. During breastfeeding, and or in patients who are planning pregnancy and are getting infertility treatment. About two-thirds of the women who test positive for covid-19 during pregnancy are asymptomatic. However, some pregnant women can get life-threatening diseases because of covid-19, particularly if they have underlying health issues.
Vaccination during pregnancy:
In the later stages of pregnancy, women are at an increased risk of becoming seriously ill with a covid-19 infection. Especially in the third trimester. Three times the rate, they will have a rate of premature birth in these babies. So having said that, ideally, you should have your vaccination before you plan a pregnancy. That means,after the first shot the second shot would be after 6 to 8 weeks. And after the second vaccination for another two months, one should wait, and then one should plan a pregnancy. If you are vaccinated and if you have followed these norms, this would be an ideal situation.
Pregnancy after the first dose
If you have received the first dose and then you suddenly realize that you have become pregnant in a bad situation, do not panic. This vaccination that you are receiving is a dead virus vaccine just like the vaccination of influenza. Which will have no adverse effect on your growing pregnancy and the fetus.
So thirdly, if you have received the first dose and realize that you are pregnant. Do not go in for the second dose in pregnancy. Because we do not have enough evidence, available to us as of now about the effect of covid vaccination.
covid -19 vaccine and its effect on pregnancy:
And when Dr. Mangla Dogra talks of this, she talks of Covishield and Covaxin, which is available in India, and their effect on pregnancy and its outcome on pregnancy.
For women who are planning a pregnancy that is taking treatment for infertility: The ideal situation would again be to get the first vaccination and then the second vaccination after 6 weeks. Wait for another eight to ten weeks before you start treatment for infertility.
That way, with the whole vaccination scenario, they will have to wait for words for 25 months before they start taking treatment for infertility. There is limited information about the effect of covid-19 vaccination and its outcome. So even if you do get vaccinated, if you do get another scenario and then plan a pregnancy and have a baby. During pregnancy, you still need to follow the norms of covid-19 distancing. Wearing a mask all the time. Washing your hands carefully.
Vaccination for covid-19 for pregnant women has been allowed in countries like the UK and the USA. And that also there only recommended Pfizer, but this also is to be given in high-risk women. Women who can wear comorbidities or work in scenarios in a hospital setup and are more likely to get a covid-19 infection.
Having said that there is no evidence for pregnant women with Covishield and Covaxin in India. So pregnant women and lactating women should not receive covid-19 vaccination at this time. As none of the trials have been done on pregnant women. So as of now, the Ministry of family welfare and health guidelines are that pregnant ladies and lactating women do have not to receive covid vaccination.
Yes, of course, as time passes, we will have more and more evidence and literature available, and the time and the guidelines will keep changing. We from Dogra Nursing Home, Sector 19 will update you about whatever the new guidelines are.