Pregnant Women Now Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine; Health Ministry Announced On Friday
Pregnant women are now eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination, the Union Health Ministry announced on Friday. They can register for the shot on the Centre’s CoWIN portal or can directly walk into vaccination centers.
The decision was based on the recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. Last week, Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal had said that pregnant women “Can and Should” be vaccinated against the infection.
“Studies have shown that Covid-19 infection during pregnancy may result in rapid deterioration of health of pregnant women and they are at an increased risk of severe diseases and it might affect fetus too. The matter has been examined by domain knowledge experts based on the evidence that indicate that pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 compared to non-pregnant women in case they get infected. Further, pregnant women with Covid-19 infection are at an increased risk for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes including higher chances of neonatal morbidity,” said the ministry.
NTAGI Chief NK Arora has said that both pregnant woman and child can be saved by Covid-19 vaccine. “Pregnant women can take the vaccine at any time since detection of the pregnancy. It does not seem that the vaccine will have any ill-effect on the child growing up in the mother’s womb. If the mother develops immunity, it will be passed on to the foetus. One in 10 lakh women have experienced bleeding or formation of clots,” he said.
Doubts regarding possible risks to the mother and child were raised including the risk of clotting (or thrombosis) with the Covishield jab, but the committee decided “benefit far outweighs the risk”.
“Before vaccination, pregnant women should be fully informed that long-term adverse reactions and safety of vaccine for fetus and child has not yet been established,” it added.
Meanwhile, India on Friday morning reported 46,617 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours. This was 4.4% lower than Thursday’s count of 48,786 infections.