The Royal Australian and New Zealand's College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) released a statement regarding Covid-19 vaccination as a recommendation for women in pregnancy, at all stages of pregnancy.
The purpose of the announcement was to clear any confusions for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
It has been considered unlikely that the vaccine can pose risk to a pregnant woman or their fetus.
Image: CC/ Sam Hudson [Wgtn]
RANZCOG and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) gave recommendations aligning with advice from the Ministry of Health.
Infected pregnant women with the virus will only experience mild or moderate cold or flu-like symptoms. However, there is an increased risk of complications from any respiratory disease due to physiological changes during pregnancy. Reduced lung function, increased oxygen consumption and changed immunity are some.
Those with co-morbidities are at higher risk of hospital admittance, ventilation and severe illness.
There's no evidence of an increased risk of miscarriage or teratogenicity. Vertical transmission of the virus and an increased incidence of third trimester premature birth are possible, but this may be due to medical intervention for maternal illnesses.
Image: CC/ Ministry of Health
Pregnant women can be offered the Pfizer mRNA vaccine at any stage of pregnancy because the risk of severe outcomes of the virus is significantly higher in pregnant women and their unborn baby.
Global data from large numbers of those that took the vaccine and were pregnant showed no significant safety concerns. Evidence shows that the vaccine can provide immunity.
“There is [also] evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity,” the statement says.
“Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional.“
Delay in getting the jab is not required for women trying to become pregnant, including those who would choose to avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
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