As of August 2021, more than 11 crore Indians are fully vaccinated. In the meantime, one question that still revolves around vaccines is whether it is safe for pregnant women. Initially, pregnant and breastfeeding women were not allowed to get the COVID vaccine as there were no medical trials done.

Researchers didn’t include such women in trials to avoid any risks. Only other adults were included and vaccinated initially. For a long time, pregnant women were not allowed to take vaccines as it was considered unsafe. It was believed that the vaccine could affect the placenta and cause harm to the baby.

Many pregnant women don’t know the vaccine details. As a result, they fear getting vaccinated. So, we have noted down all the related details whether pregnant women should take the vaccine, are there any side effects and what are the future results.

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Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Get Vaccinated?

During pregnancy, women have low immunity levels due to which they are at high risk of getting infected with viruses or bacteria. Compared to non-pregnant women, pregnant women are more likely to experience severe symptoms of Covid-19. In such cases, it becomes mandatory for such women to take vaccines to decrease the risk.

At the beginning of 2021, the vaccines were available after completing major trials on different age groups. No trials were done on pregnant women to reduce any possible risks. As a result, vaccination was prohibited for pregnant and breastfeeding women for a few months.

Now, the major question comes in: Do pregnant and breastfeeding women need vaccination?

Yes, like any other individual, a pregnant lady needs the Covid-19 vaccine. It stimulates the immune system to generate antibodies and white blood cells that fight (and recognize) the virus but do not contain the virus itself. It can’t change the genetic code of a receiver; therefore, it can’t target the placenta.

Although the virus contains proteins comparable to those found in the placenta, the Covid-19 vaccination does not persist in the body. Thus, the immune system eliminates it (which is why the vaccines must be stored so carefully before administration). In addition, proteins that are comparable to placenta proteins are capable of degrading.

If you have decided to get a vaccine and still have queries, you can book an appointment with our healthcare professionals. However, if you want to know about your safety regarding vaccines, then refer to the information below.

Is the COVID vaccine safe during pregnancy?

Although the overall risk of severe complications from Covid-19 is minimal. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness than non-pregnant women. Here, severe symptoms may need hospitalization, intensive care, or the use of a ventilator or other special breathing apparatus. In addition, pregnant women with Covid-19 may be at a higher risk of premature birth than those without Covid-19. Further, they have a higher risk of poor pregnancy results.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation gave a green signal to vaccinate pregnant and breastfeeding women on 16 April 2021. Also, experts believe vaccinations are unlikely to pose a major risk because of how they act in the body. Vaccines are completely safe and prevent the risk of getting infected with COVID.

However, if you’re pregnant and have questions or concerns about having the Covid-19 vaccination, talk to our expert doctor before getting it.

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Are there any side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines?

No, the Covid-19 vaccines’ possible adverse effects are the same in all populations. Pain or discomfort at the injection site, tiredness, headaches, muscular pain, chills, and fever are some symptoms.

According to CDC experts, vaccines are unlikely to pose a significant risk to breastfeeding mothers and their infants based on how the vaccines operate in the body. Two kinds of antibodies were discovered in breast milk following immunization in a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It implies that babies are fully protected from Covid-19 infection. In addition, during the six-week research period, neither the moms nor their children had any significant adverse effects.

Furthermore, Covid-19 vaccinations work the same way for everybody, including nursing mothers. COVID vaccines are safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Can Covid vaccine affect future pregnancy?

No, the Covid-19 vaccination will not impair your ability to conceive. The current Covid-19 vaccinations can be given to women actively attempting to conceive; there is no reason to postpone conception after finishing the immunization series.

A misleading post on social media claimed that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncytin-1. It was said that it was involved in the development and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. Thus, according to the false story, receiving the Covid-19 vaccination will trigger a woman’s body to fight a different spike protein, affecting her fertility.

However, because the two spike proteins are entirely distinct, the Covid-19 vaccination will not affect the fertility of women trying to conceive, even though in vitro fertilization. Furthermore, during the Pfizer vaccination trials, 23-woman volunteers became pregnant. Among them, only one who had a miscarriage received a placebo rather than the actual vaccine.

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Conclusion

With adequate infrastructural and technical support, our nation can provide Covid-19 vaccines in safety with careful preparation. The toolkit for Covid-19 vaccines provides guidelines, resources, and training to us for preparing and carrying out Covid-19 vaccines. This toolkit is meant to help our health ministries, health professionals, partners, and other stakeholders.

All the vaccines available in India have been researched properly and are safe for all of us. After receiving the green signal, all pregnant and breastfeeding women should get vaccinated after consulting a healthcare professional. Always clear your queries by reaching out to our professional team for any help.

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About Author

Dr. Gunjan Gupta Fertility and IVF Specialist in Delhi

Dr. Gunjan Gupta

Gynecologists and IVF specialist
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Dr. Gunjan Gupta is a Gynaecologist with a specialization in IVF, Infertility & Laparoscopy specialist doctor and has close to 2 decades of experience in : Treating Infertility, Performing Gynae Laparoscopy (Keyhole Surgeries) Handing high-risk Pregnancies. She is a Member of Royal College of Obs and Gynae (MRCOG) of UK and has been trained in Laparoscopy at EUDGES (France).

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