Explained: Should Pregnant Women In First Trimester Take The COVID-19 Vaccine?

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COVID-19 Vaccine in First Trimester: Ever since the Centre opened the vaccination drive for all citizens ages 18 and above, several questions have been raised about whether the COVID-19 vaccine can affect the health of pregnant women. As we focus on women and COVID vaccine, we look at various questions pregnant women have.

At any given time, 5% of India’s population comprises women who are pregnant. Recent research on the second wave of the pandemic has started to raise a number of causes for concern for pregnant people. Pregnant women are now highlighted as people exposed to “high risk” to the virus because of the virus’ various effects on the pregnant body.

What does research show?

Research published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AJOG) states that pregnant women were three times more likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19. Further, it stated that infected pregnant people are 13 times more likely to die than similarly aged individuals who were not pregnant when infected with COVID-19.

What are doctors saying?

To provide clarity on the issue, Dr Sudeshna Ray, a specialised obstetrician and gynaecologist, spoke to SheThePeople and said that pregnant women in the first trimester can take the vaccine. She added that there is “no evidence against vaccination in the first trimester”.

Other doctors also are in agreement with Dr Ray.

Dr. Madhulika Sinha, a Senior Consultant in OB-GYN at Akash Healthcare also told India Today that she recommends pregnant women to take the vaccine. Dr. Sinha added that known risks of COVID-19 are greater and outweigh the unknown risks of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

At this point there is no WHO approved data, research or studies that suggest the increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy among vaccinated pregnant women. As a result, the only advice that doctors give pregnant women in the first trimesters who are considering getting vaccinated is that they should consult and talk to their doctor about their choice and discuss it basis any other complications they may have.

Doctors have been strongly advocating for the vaccination of pregnant women on a priority basis because of the rising deaths and infections in the second wave. But the government of India has not yet given permission to vaccinate pregnant women although it has permitted lactating women to get vaccinated. Read more on that here. 

For further information or before taking your decision, consult your physician

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