New Delhi: Three days after announcing that pregnant women can be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry on Monday (June 28, 2021) issued guidelines for the same and stated that pregnancy does not increase the risk of coronavirus infection.
“Most pregnant women will be asymptomatic or have a mild disease, but their health may deteriorate rapidly and that might affect the foetus too. It is important that they take all precautions to protect themselves from acquiring COVID-19, including taking vaccination against COVID-19. It is therefore advised that a pregnant woman should take COVID-19 vaccines,” the ministry said.
The Health Ministry also informed that in case a woman has been infected with COVID-19 during the current pregnancy, then she should be vaccinated soon after the delivery.
Answering whether COVID-19 vaccines have any side effects, the ministry said that the COVID-19 vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against COVID-19 illness/disease.
“Like any medicine, a vaccine may have side effects which are normally mild,” it said.
“After getting the vaccine injection, she can get a mild fever, pain at the injection site or feel unwell for 1-3 days,” the Ministry stated.
However, it added that the long-term adverse effects and safety of the vaccine for foetus and child is not established yet.
“Very rarely (one in 1-5 lakh persons), pregnant women may experience some of the following symptoms within 20 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccination which may require immediate attention,” the Health Ministry said.
Union Ministry of Health issues guidelines for vaccination of pregnant women; COVID-19 vaccines available are safe & vaccination protects pregnant women against COVID-19 illness/disease like other individuals. pic.twitter.com/k47ggCOKj4
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2021
The Union Health Ministry also advised all pregnant women to register themselves on the Co-WIN portal or get themselves registered on-site at the COVID-19 vaccination centre.
The Ministry said the following fall in the high-risk category of getting an infection: someone who is a health care worker or a frontline worker; community having a high or increasing rate of COVID-19 infections; frequently exposed to people outside the household and difficulty in complying with social distancing if living in a crowded household.
If a pregnant woman gets infected with the virus, the ministry said that although most (>90 per cent) infected pregnant women recover without any need for hospitalisation, rapid deterioration in health may occur in a few.
Symptomatic pregnant women appear to be at an increased risk of severe disease and death.
In case of severe disease, like all other patients, pregnant women shall also need hospitalization.
Pregnant women with underlying medical conditions eg, high blood pressure, obesity, age over 35 years are at a higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.
Further answering the apprehensions regarding the baby’s health, the ministry informed that over 95 per cent of newborns of COVID-19 positive mothers have been in good condition at birth.
In some cases, COVID-19 infections in pregnancy may increase the possibility of premature delivery, the baby`s weight might be less than 2.5 kg and in rare situations, the baby might die before birth.
Women older than 35 years of age, obese women, having a pre-existing illness such as diabetes or high blood pressure, having a history of clotting in the limbs are at a higher risk of developing complications after COVID-19 infection.
(With ANI inputs)