In a significant development, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today accepted the recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) that Covid-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women.
Pregnant women may now register on CoWIN or walk into the nearest Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC) to get themselves vaccinated, the ministry said.
It further added: “The operational Guideline for vaccinating pregnant women, Counselling Kit for Medical Officers and FLWs, and IEC material for the public has been shared with states and union territories for its implementation.”
Guidelines issued for administering vaccines to pregnant women
A pregnant woman, who opts for vaccination, can be inoculated with Covid-19 vaccines available in the country any time during their pregnancy at the nearest government or private CVC after registration on CoWIN or by walk-in registration at the nearest CVC.
The procedures and modalities of Covid-19 vaccination like registration, generation of certificates after vaccination, etc. will remain the same as it is for any beneficiaries above 18 years of age under the National Covid Vaccination Programme.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had earlier said, “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.”
Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul had earlier said that four Covid-19 vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V and Moderna — that have been approved by the Centre, are safe for lactating mothers and pregnant women.
“These four vaccines (Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik V and Moderna) are safe for lactating mothers. The vaccine has no association with infertility,” Dr Paul had said.
A recent study by the Indian Council for Medical Research had also found that pregnant and postpartum women were more severely affected during the second wave of Covid-19 in the country than the first.
In order to protect themselves and those around them from spreading the coronavirus infection, pregnant women and their family members should practice Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing a double mask, practising frequent hand hygiene and maintaining physical distance and avoid crowded places.