As the entire world is battling the coronavirus pandemic by rolling out mass vaccination campaigns, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended vaccinating pregnant women, as a jab could outweigh potential risks. In a recently issued interim guideline, the WHO said that pregnant women can be inoculated if they are exposed to the virus, or have a high risk of developing severe complications. 

India hesitant to vaccinate pregnant women

"Available covid-19 vaccines are not live virus vaccines. Data from animal studies and post-introduction surveillance data have not shown harmful effects in pregnancy. Vaccine effectiveness likely to be comparable to nonpregnant women; initial immunogenicity data similar," said the WHO guideline. 

pregnant women covid vaccine
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Even though several countries all across the world have started vaccinating pregnant women, the Indian government has not given a positive nod to vaccinate this category of people citing a lack of clinical trial data. 

Vinod Paul, Member (Health) in NITI Aayog and Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), recently said that Covid vaccinations should not be given to pregnant women. He also added that government will soon make a decision on this after analyzing new scientific inputs. 

Gynecologists urging vaccinations for pregnant women

In the meantime, several Indian medical experts have recently urged to inoculate pregnant women, considering the high rate of morbidity and mortality. 

WHO has also made it clear that pregnant women should be informed about the risks posed by coronavirus infection in the pregnancy period, and should create awareness regarding the vitality of vaccination. The apex health body has also urged women not to stop breastfeeding after receiving the Covid vaccine

"Currently no data is available on the safety of the covid-19 vaccine in lactating women or their breastfed infants. However, it is unlikely to pose a risk," says WHO.