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Does COVID-19 Infection In Pregnant Women Affect The Baby? Govt Issues Fresh Vaccination Guidelines

Does pregnancy increase your chances of getting the coronavirus infection? Here are a few fresh guidelines that the government has issued regarding the vaccination. Check them out here.

As the second wave of Covid-19 laid bare India's healthcare infrastructure with a lack of beds and medical-grade oxygen, experts have highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated in the fight against the novel coronavirus. There were many questions that were lingering in the minds of the common people are the vaccines safe? what side effects can one experience after getting the jab? However, one question which was doing the rounds was can pregnant women take the COVID-19 vaccine? The Health Ministry on June 25 had announced that pregnant women can be vaccinated against COVID-19. Four days after the announcement, the centre has issued a couple of fresh guidelines for all pregnant women to stay safe from coronavirus infection. Check them out here.

Should Pregnant Women Get Vaccinated? Answers Health Ministry

The novel coronavirus which was first found in Wuhan, China has wrecked havoc worldwide, causing lakhs and lakhs of fatalities. The virus can infect anyone, irrespective of their age and gender. Highlighting the same, the Union Health Ministry, however, clarified that pregnancy does not increase the risk of coronavirus 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 ministry said.

When Should A Pregnant Women Get Vaccinated?

The Ministry said that if a pregnant woman gets infected with the virus during the current pregnancy, then she should be vaccinated soon after the delivery. The ministry also stated that most (>90 per cent) infected pregnant women recover without any need for hospitalisation, however, rapid deterioration in health may occur in a few.

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Which Pregnant Woman Are At Higher Risk Of Developing Severe COVID-19 Complications?

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 are at a higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. The ministry also added that 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.

How Does COVID-19 Infection In Pregnant Women Affect The Baby?

Answering the apprehensions regarding the baby's health, the ministry informed that most (over 95 per cent) newborns of COVID-19 positive mothers have been in good condition at birth. In some cases, COVID-19 infections in pregnancy may increase the possibility of premature delivery, the baby's weight might be less than 2.5 kg and in rare situations, the baby might die before birth.

Are There Any Side-Effects Of The COVID-19 Vaccines That Can Harm A Pregnant Mother or Her Foetus?

The ministry informed that the COVID-19 vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against COVID-19 illness/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 are not established yet. Very rarely (one in 1-5 lakh persons), pregnant women may experience some of the following symptoms within 20 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccination which may require immediate attention.

  1. Shortness of breath.
  2. Chest pain.
  3. Persistent abdominal pain with or without vomiting.
  4. Pain in limbs/pain on pressing the limbs or swelling in the limbs.
  5. Small pinpoint haemorrhages (petechiae) or bruising of the skin beyond the injection site.

The Union Health Ministry has also advised all pregnant women to register themselves on the Co-WIN portal or get themselves registered on-site at the COVID-19 vaccination centre.

(With inputs from ANI)

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