We have reached the crest of the second wave of COVID-19. This wave laid bare vulnerabilities of the healthcare services and has taken a tremendous toll on lives, livelihood and psychological health.
Even though it has been months since the vaccination drive started in India, a very small percentage of the population has actually been able to get the COVID-19 jab. On top of that there are many questions to which we don’t know the answer, for example, how long will the vaccines be effective?
Fortunately, we now have an answer to one particular question. Many people have wondered if vaccination in pregnancy is safe. The answer is yes. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have given the go-ahead to vaccines for pregnant women.
Need for vaccines in pregnant women
Pregnancy does not increase the possibility of contracting COVID-19. However, studies have found that a COVID-19 infection in a pregnant woman has a higher risk of taking a turn for the worse than in a woman who is not pregnant.
The expecting mother’s health will likely deteriorate speedily and eventually, even the foetus’ health would be affected. That means, both the mother and the developing baby are at risk.
The risk of severe COVID-19 infection increases with the presence of comorbidities and if the woman is over 35 years of age.
Vaccination for pregnant women will drastically reduce the chances of them contracting a severe COVID-19. Just like in any other individual, the COVID-19 vaccine will awaken an immune response in the pregnant woman and her antibodies will be able to detect and kill COVID-19 if she is ever exposed to the virus.
Time of vaccination during pregnancy
The time of vaccination during pregnancy is flexible. At any point in her pregnancy, she can opt for the COVID-19 vaccine. The benefits of vaccines for pregnant women will be the same whenever she decides to get vaccinated.
Can pregnant COVID survivors opt for vaccination during pregnancy?
Women who have recovered from COVID can also register for the COVID-19 vaccine. They would have to wait for 3 months after recovering from a COVID infection before they can get the vaccine.
Will vaccination during pregnancy harm women?
The threats are not more substantial for pregnant women. The goal of the new vaccination drive for pregnant women is to let women decide what is the best course of action for them. If you have any concerns regarding vaccination, it is better to consult your doctor, clear your doubts and then get the jab.
Studies have already found that the benefits outweigh the risks. It is in the interests of the woman and her developing baby if she opts for vaccination during pregnancy.
The side-effects of vaccination will be the same for pregnant women as for anyone else:
- Fever with chills
- Body ache
- Sore arm
Your doctor will be able to guide you about the management of any discomfort or side effects arising after vaccination. Do not self medicate.
Registration for vaccination during pregnancy
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has instructed state governments to make vaccination available to all pregnant women who want to get vaccinated.
Now any mother-to-be can register on the CoWIN app and book a vaccination slot or she may walk into her nearest COVID Vaccination Centre to get the jab.
With the announcement of making vaccination during pregnancy available, 62% of the nation’s population is eligible to get the COVID-19 shot. This brings us one step closer to attaining herd immunity and winning the war against COVID-19. Continue following COVID-19 protocol even if you have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.