There has been a big push from the government to get Pregnant woman vaccinated for COVID-19. So why has the advise changed? Pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and their babies have a higher risk of being born prematurely. Vaccination is the best way to reduce these risks.
"Pregnant women were not included in the first clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, so at the time of initial guidance there was limited evidence confirming the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. The initial advice from immunisation expert groups was therefore cautious, and COVID-19 vaccines were not routinely recommended in pregnancy. Over time, ‘real-world’ evidence from other countries has accumulated and reports show that COVID-19 vaccines, such as Comirnaty, are safe to use in pregnant women. Emerging research also demonstrates that pregnant women have a similar immune response to mRNA vaccines compared to non-pregnant women, and are therefore likely to have similar protection against COVID-19. Furthermore, research shows that the antibodies produced by vaccination cross the placenta and may provide some protection to newborn babies." (health.gov.au). Pregnant woman especially in at risk groups like over 35, health conditions, from indigenous decent etc should know the risks are even greater for them.
Here are the facts of Pregnant woman Vs Non pregnant woman:
- They have about 5 times higher risk of needing admission to hospital.
- They are about 2-3 times higher chance of needing admission to an intensive care unit
- About 3 times higher need of needing invasive ventilation (breathing life support)
COVID-19 during pregnancy also increases the risk of complications for the newborn, including:
- A slightly increased risk (about 1.5 times higher) of being born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or at a higher risk of stillbirth
- An increased risk (about 3 times higher) of needing admission to a hospital newborn care unit.
We all know that the information and advice surrounding COVID-19 keeps changing and what is said today may be different tomorrow, though for now it seems like the evidence supports Mums to be getting vaccinated to protect themselves and their unborn baby- so 'Roll Up your Sleeve'! The earlier the better and also the research shows that it does not affect fertility.
CBS News released this article on the 18th August 2021.