Can Pregnant Women Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

According to different guidelines laid by various health organizations around the globe, anybody over the age of 12 years can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and can choose from amongst the different vaccines authorized for administration; this applies to pregnant women as well.

The guidelines laid by the health authorities state that:

  • Expectant mothers can get vaccinated at any time during their pregnancy
  • It is advised that they schedule their vaccination with a gap of 2 weeks before and after any other vaccination
  • The perks of getting vaccinated outweigh any minor side effects caused by getting vaccinated.
  • If a pregnant woman has already suffered from COVID-19 at any time during the course of her pregnancy then it is advised that she gets vaccinated after delivering the baby.
  • Pregnant women should be clearly explained the pros and cons of getting the COVID-19 vaccine before they actually get their jab.
  • The attending ob/gyn should be consulted prior to vaccination; it becomes even more imperative in cases where the pregnant woman has adverse effects after getting her first dose of the vaccine.

The most common symptoms manifested in pregnant woman on receiving the vaccine against COVID-19 include pain at the injection site, mild fever, or slight fatigue which can last for 1-3 days; just like any other person who gets their jab against COVID-19.

In some very rare cases (one in 1-5 lakh persons) the vaccinated persons may experience adverse reactions within 20 days after the COVID-19 vaccination. When these adverse conditions present themselves, it is advised that the affected individual be attended by medical personnel at the earliest:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain / swelling in the limbs, pain on pressing the limbs
  • Pinpoint-sized hemorrhages or bruising beyond the site of vaccination
  • Continuous abdominal pain without vomiting
  • Presentation of seizures with no existing history of the same with or without vomiting
  • Persistent severe headaches with or without vomiting
  • Weakness or paralysis of arms or legs or any particular side of the body
  • Continuous vomiting without reason
  • Pain in the eyes or blurred vision

One of the most common adverse effect observed in vaccinated pregnant women is the formation of blood clots away from the site of vaccination.

The adverse effects observed in pregnant women regarding the completion of pregnancy and neonatal health are as follows:

  • In a study about participants vaccinated in the third trimester, 86.1% live births and 13.9% losses in pregnancy were observed post vaccination.
  • Amongst the live births, 9.4% births were reported preterm and 3.2% neonates were born smaller in size than their gestational age; no neonatal death were observed.
  • Amongst the pregnancy related adverse effects reported on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), spontaneous abortion was most frequently reported (20.8%).

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