Prominent medical groups in the US have recently said that pregnant women should consider being inoculated against COVID19. Dr. Richard Beigi from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Immunization Infectious Disease, Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group has said that pregnant women should take the vaccine shots. He has said that there is no solid evidence, which proves that taking the COVID19 vaccine will harm either the mother or the unborn child. Experts have said the vaccine will provide a considerable amount of benefit to the mother and their unborn child. They have claimed that only those who have a history of severe allergies and anaphylactic shock or people who are dealing with advanced-stage cancer should avoid the vaccine. Health experts have said that any pregnant women with such concerns should get in touch with their Gynecologists. Renowned medical groups and experts have said that pregnant women should have a choice to get the vaccine. They hope this new recommendation will help pregnant women and their families, who might be confused due to conflicting recommendations, to decide about their vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that pregnant women should not receive the Moderna vaccine unless the benefits of inoculating pregnant women outweigh the possible risks of the vaccine. The agency has advised against using the Pfizer vaccine during pregnancy as well. The WHO officials have said that there is a lack of safety data on vaccinating pregnant women. Pregnant women have been excluded from the original trial of the Pfizer vaccine.
Doctors from the US have said that possible vaccine risks mentioned by the WHO are purely based on speculative measures as compared to risks posed by the COVID19 for pregnant women and their unborn child. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of preterm delivery, stillbirth, severe disease, and death due to COVID19. A maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Kjersti Aagaard has said that medical science does not show how and why vaccinating pregnant women can cause harm. Experts have said that there are decades of safety data available, which show that inactivated vaccines do not harm pregnant women and their unborn babies. They hope this data will apply to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as these vaccines are not developed from a live virus. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which train the body to produce a protein, which can trigger an immune response. Experts have said that as soon as instructions are passed, the cell splits and gets rid of the mRNA. Therefore, the concerns of the WHO are based on hypothetical risks at the cost of identifying the benefits of vaccination.
There are enough data, which shows that the COVID19 adversely affects pregnant women and their unborn child. Pregnant women are at five times higher risk of hospitalization due to COVID19. They are three to four times more likely to be admitted to the ICU. Women who are expecting are at two to three times higher risk of being put on lifesaving measures such as breathing tube or life support. Pregnant women are also at a higher risk of stillbirth, preterm delivery, and maternal death due to COVID19. Black and Latino women are at a greater risk of death and severe disease due to COVID19. Such women can suffer from reduced lung capacity as the baby grown inside the womb. Experts have said that the heart of a pregnant woman pumps 1.5 times harder than normal to provide enough blood for the baby and the placenta. Therefore, due to higher cardiac output, pregnant women are at a higher risk of heart failure as well, which can be a possible cause of death from COVID19. Pregnant women are more likely to have an over-reactive immune system, which can cause cytokine storm in the case of COVID19 and lead to severe COVID19 disease.