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Govt Issues Guidelines On Safety Of COVID-19 Vaccines For Pregnant Women

New Delhi: Fresh guidelines have been issued by the Union Health Ministry for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women and said that pregnancy doesn’t increase the chance of infection.

“Most pregnant women will be asymptomatic or have a mild disease, but their health may deteriorate rapidly and that might affect the foetus too. It is important that they take all precautions to protect themselves from acquiring Covid-19, including taking vaccination against Covid-19. It is therefore advised that a pregnant woman should take Covid-19 vaccines,” the health ministry said via a statement on Monday.

According to the ministry, COVID-19 vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against COVID-19 illness or disease. Like any medicine, a vaccine may have side effects which are normally mild. After getting the vaccine injection, she can get a mild fever, pain at the injection site or feel unwell for 1-3 days. The long-term adverse effects and safety of the vaccine for foetus and child is not established yet. Very rarely (one in 100,000-500,000), pregnant women may experience some of the following symptoms within 20 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccination which may require immediate attention, the ministry statement said on Monday.

“Symptomatic pregnant women appear to be at an increased risk of severe disease and death. In case of severe disease, like all other patients, pregnant women shall also need hospitalization. Pregnant women with underlying medical conditions e.g, high blood pressure, obesity, age over 35 years are at a higher risk of severe illness due to Covid-19,” the statement further stated.

However, the health ministry also spelt out the risk factor for pregnant women above 35 years of age.

“Women older than 35 years of age, obese women, having a pre-existing illness such as diabetes or high blood pressure, having a history of clotting in the limbs are at a higher risk of developing complications after Covid-19 infection. In case a woman has been infected with Covid-19 during the current pregnancy, then she should be vaccinated soon after the delivery,” the ministry stated.

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