Pregnant women must be vaccinated against Covid-19, say experts

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Pregnant women must be vaccinated against Covid-19, say experts

Around eight per cent of women who contracted Covid-19 during pregnancy died due to complications of the viral infection, infectious diseasesâ

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Around eight per cent of women who contracted Covid-19 during pregnancy died due to complications of the viral infection, infectious diseases’ experts and gynecologists said on Monday and urged women, especially those pregnant, to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible without any hesitation or fear of any adverse effects.

Accurate information of the death rate of pregnant women infected with Covid-19 is not yet available, but according to a limited scale study, the fatality rate among pregnant women due to Covid complications is eight per cent, they said.

So, instead of believing in rumors, they advised, the Covid-19 vaccine should be given to women on a priority basis, and it will not have any adverse effect on the unborn child while the antibodies will be transmitted through milk in the bodies of children of breastfeeding mothers.

They were speaking at an awareness programme titled “Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy – Should it be done?”, organised by the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Monday.

The experts included Prof Asma Naseem of infectious diseases of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Prof Dr Nazli Hussain of the Civil Hospital Karachi’s Gynecology Ward and Prof Sara Qazi, director of the Professional Development Centre.

Experts said that women’s immunity is weakened during pregnancy, which can lead to various diseases, including pneumonia and influenza. Before the pandemic, pregnant women were being given influenza and other vaccines and they are considered safe for both the mother and her child.

Prof Asma Naseem said the coronavirus was causing many problems in pregnant women in Pakistan. She said women were exposed to various dangers during pregnancy so it was imperative that they should be vaccinated. All vaccines available in Pakistan are approved by the World Health Organisation.

She also highlighted the positive effects and effectiveness of the method of making all the vaccines available in Pakistan, and said that the RNA vaccine was not made in the world before Covid.

“The RNA vaccine has been developed for the first time. Researchers at the time of Ebola concluded that an RNA vaccine could be developed. You have to go through long experiments to make a vaccine from inactivated virus,” she added.

She said Covid vaccines should be given without giving attention to any rumors. The World Health Organisation has also stated the rate of effectiveness of all vaccines. “Most vaccines are more than 50 per cent effective. And if a vaccine is 50 per cent effective, at least 50 per cent protection will be provided from Covid. In such a case, when pregnant women are already at risk, no more risk should be taken,” said Prof Naseem.

No accurate statistics are available in Pakistan, but in Iran research on this topic has shown that women with Covid have increased rates of premature births, stillbirth and caesarean section.

According to the data collected on a limited scale in Pakistan, the death rate due to Covid complications in women affected during childbirth is eight per cent, so vaccination is needed on a priority basis to prevent it.

She said that doctors are also at the highest risk with the patient in the gynecological wards as they have very little time and cannot wait for the PCR report. Doctors have to perform their duties immediately.

Caution is needed despite being vaccinated, protective clothing and precautions are essential. Prof Sarah Qazi said that the purpose of the programme was to create awareness about the safety of people’s lives.

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