Vaccination for pregnant women: What you need to know

Vaccination for pregnant women: What you need to know

From whether it is safe for pregnant women to get vaccinated to whether breastfeeding mothers are also able to take the vaccine, here is what you need to know. 

Pregnant woman getting vaccinated
Pregnant woman getting vaccinated/ iStock

As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, health officials have encouraged people to get vaccinated. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the benefits of vaccination as:

  • They can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccines also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

READ: "I got my J&J vaccine but now I want the Pfizer vaccines"- Prof Tulio advises

Who qualifies to get vaccinated?

In South Africa, everyone from the age of 18 can get vaccinated. 

However, there have been concerns as to whether vaccines are safe for pregnant women. 

The South African Coronavirus website states that vaccination is safe even for pregnant women. 

It further states that the vaccine can be given at any stage of the pregnancy. 

“COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to women who are eligible to be vaccinated during any stage of pregnancy, and during lactation. As previously recommended, both the Comirnaty® (Pfizer) vaccine or the Janssen® (J&J) vaccine can be offered,” states the website. 

READ: When a vaccine for COVID-19 is ready, will you vaccinate?

Can breastfeeding mothers get vaccinated? 

The South African Coronavirus website says vaccination is safe for breastfeeding mothers. 

“Everyone 18 years and older is now eligible to be vaccinated, and women 18 years and older should therefore be offered vaccination during any stage of pregnancy, and during breastfeeding,” states the website. 

The vaccine should be “during routine antenatal and postnatal visits,” states the health site. 

It adds that: “Where this is not possible, health care workers should encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to access vaccination at a nearby vaccination site.”

READ: J&J says second dose of Covid vaccine boosts protection

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Prostock-Studio

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