Study shows it is safe for expectant women to receive COVID-19 vaccines

by Amref Health Africa

With the rising cases of coronavirus infections across the globe, scientists are now calling on pregnant women to go for coronavirus jabs, saying it is safe based on a study that was conducted by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Doctors are now saying that a pregnant mother who contracts COVID is at greater risk of severe illness than the general person.

They run a higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, including perhaps miscarriages and stillbirths.

Dr. Victor Ng’ani, Head of critical care, RHF Healthcare and a coronavirus expert in Kenya says that the previous call for expectant women not to receive the jabs was based on the fact that there was not enough data, thus need to prevent them from unexpected health complications.

“The current position is that the risk of not getting vaccinated outweighs the risks of getting vaccinated and given what we know about COVID-19 and pregnancy, then its better to go and get jabs,” said Dr. Ng’ani.

Kenya has only imported AstraZeneca coronavirus jabs which are being administered across, but the study analysis CDC was based only on the Pfizer and Moderna shots.

Dr. Ng’ani, however, says the vaccination case is for all the approved jabs by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that mothers are recommended to get the jabs.

CDC conducted a study on 2,500 women which showed no increased risks of miscarriage for those who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

According to the Gardian, the analysis found a miscarriage rate of around 13 percent, within the normal range.

“The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe outcomes from Covid-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people,’’ CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

Although pregnant women were not included in studies that led to the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines, experts say real world experience in tens of thousands of women shows that the shots are safe for them and that when given during pregnancy may offer some protection to new-borns.

COVID-19 vaccines infertility

There have also been concerns over infertility among women for receiving coronavirus jabs.

But according to Amref Health Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr.Githinji Gitahi there is no scientific evidence that the jabs have since caused infertility among women.

Dr. Githinji said there is no causal link between the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility disorders based on scientific evidence after many questions prompted regarding whether women who are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding should receive the jab.

“There is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have since caused infertility, none at all. So, when you are planning to get pregnant, whether you are pregnant or whether you are breastfeeding do receive COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available for you,” said Dr.Githinji Gitahi.

He said pregnant and recently pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The new guidance comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the globe driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

Figures show the latest surge in cases among pregnant women is lower than it was during the outbreak’s winter peak.

Menstrual disorder

On menstruation disorders, the European Medicines Agency reported July 30 that there is no concern found so far on the menstruation cycle after receiving the shot.

EMA safety committee had studied cases of menstrual disorders reported after vaccination, adding it had requested more data from vaccine developers to assess the issue.

Menstrual disorders can occur for various reasons, from stress and tiredness to underlying medical conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis.

Separately, EMA recommended that immune thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelets, dizziness, and tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, be added to the labels of J&J’s single-shot vaccine as potential adverse reactions.

Additional information by Lawrence Bararza

Article first published on

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