Pregnant Women Vaccination
: Several senior doctors and gynaecologists have requested the Central government to allow the vaccination of pregnant women as priority. The doctors claimed that the number of pregnant women dying due to COVID-19 infection has rapidly increased in the second wave of the pandemic.
The current situation has concerned Tamil Nadu doctors, gynaecologists, immunisation experts, and public health experts regarding the safety of pregnant women. The group of experts has emphasised the need for pregnant women to be vaccinated on priority due to the rising death rate of new mothers and pregnant women.
While the government has allowed vaccination for lactating women, permission has not been given to vaccinating pregnant women. Although there have been no studies or data published to prove that the COVID-19 vaccine may have an impact on a pregnant woman’s health, the government has stalled the permission to date.
A report from the Public Health Department states that the number of deaths of pregnant women and new mothers due to COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu in April and May has doubled up compared to March-December 2020.
Talking to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), Dr Manonmani Arun, a senior gynaecologist with a private hospital in Madurai said that there has been an increase in the loss of lives of pregnant women and new mother in the second wave. “I feel that there is an urgent need to vaccinate these women and I do appeal to the Tamil Nadu Public Health Department to request the Union government to inoculate these women on a priority basis,” Dr Arun said.
Dr Rajani Varrier, a gynaecologist with a Chennai private hospital also told IANS about the urgent need for vaccination. “Last week, a 29-year-old lady doctor died due to COVID in a city hospital here after she contracted pneumonia,” the doctor said. “We are inoculating new mothers, but the risk for pregnant women is still there and they should be given vaccination on a priority basis,” she added.
It has been reported that customs, functions, and rituals that are associated with pregnancy in Tamil Nadu have led to many people putting pregnant women at a high risk of contracting the COVID-19. The state Public Health Department is also aware of the increasing cases of COVID-19 among pregnant women. According to IANS, a request to permit vaccination of pregnant women will be sent to the Union government by the Health Department at the earliest.