Advice on Covid-19 vaccine for pregnant women

Pfizer/BioNTech jab should be given between 14th and 33rd weeks or delayed until after delivery.

Covid-19 vaccine for pregnant women

Pregnant women getting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 should be given it between the 14th and 33rd weeks of their pregnancy, Irish medical experts have advised.
According to information from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, 'If the second dose is not delivered after 33 completed weeks, it can be withheld until after birth.'
"This will avoid confusion that may arise if after the second dose a fever develops."
The Institute's Chairman, Dr Cliona Murphy, said it was necessary for women to obtain trustworthy knowledge about the vaccines and to discuss their risks with regard to Covid-19 and the jab with their healthcare providers.
As for the majority of the female population, pregnant women are at a similar risk of contracting Covid-19, the two groups claim. Many patients who become infected will only have mild to moderate symptoms and there is a low chance of spreading the infection to the infant.
However, as compared to other women, pregnant women showing signs may be more likely to be taken to the hospital, need treatment in an ICU, and die.
An elevated preterm birth and stillbirth risk among pregnant patients can be noted.
"In Ireland, we have seen a higher rate of hospitalization and high-dependence care, but fortunately no maternal death from Covid in 2020," the data says.

Not excluded
The obstetricians state that pregnant women are "not excluded" from receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, known as Comirnaty.
It is advised that pregnant women at high risk of serious Covid-19 and pregnant healthcare staff chat about receiving the vaccine with their obstetric care provider.

"In terms of their individual conditions, they should discuss their chance of having Covid-19. Based on this, the vaccine should be considered to offset the minor uncertain risks associated with the vaccine against the severe risks associated with Covid-19.
Vaccines can decrease the risk of being seriously unwell for pregnant mothers. They can also limit the risk of complications from pregnancy, such as preterm delivery, which is associated with extreme Covid-19 disease.
A three-week period between two doses of Comirnat is advised. The information suggests that pregnant women can get the first one after 14 weeks or 14 weeks and the second one after 33 weeks.
Tiredness, fatigue, sore shoulder, fever and muscle or joint pain are typical side effects, and are more common after the second dose.
Fever after vaccination typically resolves without medication within two days, although paracetamol may be used to control it. If you feel unwell after having a vaccine, pregnant women do not take ibuprofen and should seek medical care to rule out other causes.

Safety data
There is little evidence on the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but according to the information, they are not supposed to have any effect on the foetus.
For mothers who have undergone the vaccine while pregnant, breastfeeding is recommended and can give the baby some protection. Mothers who are already breastfeeding will have the vaccine as well.
According to the recommendations, there is no reason to abandon any interval before becoming pregnant again or to initiate fertility therapy because there is no proof that the vaccine impacts fertility.
"However, in view of the risk of side effects such as fever in the 48 hours following the vaccine, especially the second dose, you may wish to defer it until you have completed the full course (of fertility treatment)."
The information refers specifically to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine but further advice will be published as more vaccines become available.