By: Poelano Malema
Great news for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, you can now take the COVID-19 vaccine in consultation with your healthcare provider. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) made the announcement on Thursday.
The recommendations come after it was found that “pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with women of childbearing age who are not pregnant, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth,” states the Sahpra website.
It adds that the initial clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines excluded women who are pregnant and most studies excluded women who were lactating.
However, COVID-19 vaccines have not been found to have to have adverse effects on pregnant women and their infants.
“Vaccines that use the same viral vector have been given to pregnant people in all trimesters of pregnancy, including in a large-scale Ebola vaccination trial. No adverse pregnancy-related outcomes, including adverse outcomes that affected the infant, were associated with vaccination in these trials,” reads the statement.
However, Sahpra said the vaccine should be given after counselling was done.
“In addition, the VMAC recommends the use COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, based on individual benefit -risk assessments, counselling and informed consent,” states the website.