Tuesday, February 23

Should pregnant women get the coronavirus vaccine?



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With the vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 just started, many questions are still in the air. And although medical professionals and scientific societies agree on the need to get vaccinated to end the coronavirus pandemic, there are some doubts about the convenience or not of administering them to some population groups.

Among them, patients treated with anticoagulants, allergic or pregnant women.

This last group has just been referred to by the Federation of Spanish Scientific Medical Associations (FACME) in a document that tries to clarify doubts with a population group on which, until now, new vaccines against the coronavirus have not been tested.

The question is:

Can pregnant women be vaccinated against the coronavirus?

From the FACME they clarify that, taking into account the vaccine’s technical data sheet, “it would be possible since pregnancy is not a contraindication. However, it must be a voluntary and informed decision of the pregnant woman based on her own individual benefit-risk balance ”.

The latest scientific studies on the incidence of Covid-19 in pregnant women have shown that this group presents a increased risk of developing severe symptoms of the disease, including admission to the ICU, the need for mechanical ventilation and risk of death, than the general population.

In addition, the risk of unfavorable pregnancy-related consequences, such as preterm birth, could also increase.

From the point of view of the risks that vaccination may entail in this group, practically no experience. As scientific societies point out, Animal studies do not reveal direct or indirect harmful effects regarding pregnancy. Neither in embryonic / fetal development, nor in delivery or postnatal development.

And although there are no data available on the possible transfer of the vaccine to the placenta, it seems unlikely that the components of the new drug pose a risk to the pregnant woman or fetus.

The vaccines available at this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna do not use live viruses but the messenger RNA technique, which is rapidly degraded inside cells.

In certain cases, pregnancy Other risk factors could be added to take into account in the decision to vaccinate or not. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, immunosuppression, are some of the pathologies that could determine the suitability or not when administering the vaccine.

The type of work carried out by the pregnant woman should also be taken into account.

With these premises, the Federation of Spanish Medical Scientific Associations, recommends “not to vaccinate in a generalized way to pregnant women in this first stage of the vaccination strategy. As more information on safety and efficacy becomes available, the recommendations will be modified ”.

For FACME, pregnant patients could be exempted who “due to their concomitant conditions had a very high individual risk of complications from COVID-19, after the pregnant woman’s voluntary and informed decision based on her own individual benefit-risk balance.”

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What happens if a woman who does not know she is pregnant is vaccinated?

Scientific societies point out that the most indicated in these cases is not to interrupt the pregnancy since, as we have already seen, the available data do not show direct or indirect harmful effects on the fetus.

What it is It is advisable not to administer the second dose of vaccine in the event that the woman confirms her pregnancy after receiving the first dose.

In any case, health professionals will carry out special monitoring in these cases, documenting any effect of the vaccine on both the woman and the baby during pregnancy and after delivery.

Can I get pregnant right after receiving the coronavirus vaccine?

According to the data provided by the laboratories, neither the Pfizer-BioNTech nor the Moderna vaccine showed direct or indirect effects on reproduction in animal studies.

Experts do not expect that the components of these vaccines have a toxic potential in the genes, but pending more data and as a precaution, it is recommended to avoid pregnancy for up to 1 month from the administration of the second dose.

These precautions are common to the recommendations in cases of vaccination with formulas composed of attenuated viruses.

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