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Pregnant women and Covid vaccine; Health Ministry issues new guidelines

covid vaccine for pregnant women
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Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) today approved the vaccination of pregnant women against Covid 19.
This decision was taken based on recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).

This decision will empower pregnant women to make an informed choice on taking the Covid vaccination.
Based on scientific and epidemiological evidence, the programme gives priority to strengthening the country’s healthcare system by protecting the professionals, health and frontline workers, manning it, as well as protecting the most vulnerable population groups.
Till date, all groups except pregnant women were eligible for Covid 19 vaccination.
Now, it is expanded to even pregnant women in the world’s largest Immunization drive.

Studies have shown that Covid 19 infection during pregnancy may result in rapid deterioration of health of pregnant women and they are at an increased risk of severe diseases and it might affect the fetus too.
The topic has been examined by domain knowledge experts based on the evidence that indicate that pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from Covid 19 compared to non-pregnant women in case they get infected.
Further, pregnant women with Covid 19 infection are at an increased risk for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes including higher chances of neonatal morbidity.
Additionally, the experts have also highlighted pre-existing comorbidities, advanced maternal age, and high body mass Index as factors for severe Covid 19 in pregnancy.

Earlier many technical groups and organizations recommended the need for vaccination among pregnant women.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended vaccination for pregnant women. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid 19 (NEGVAC) too has unanimously recommended it.
Further, a national level Consultation on Covid 19 vaccination for pregnant women was also convened by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to build consensus on Covid Vaccination of pregnant women.
The consultation unanimously welcomed the recommendation of NTAGI to vaccinate pregnant women. The consultation included professional bodies like FOGSI, representatives of State Governments, CSOs, NGOs, Development Partner agencies, technical experts etc.

Pregnant woman, who opts for vaccination, can be vaccinated with Covid 19 vaccines available in the country any time during their pregnancy at the nearest Government or Private Covid 19 Vaccination Center (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 Program.

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Written by Headline8 Desk


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