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Oxford Vaccines & Pfizer Are Allowed for Pregnant-Breastfeeding Women

Vaccines are not recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – The Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech can now be given to pregnant and lactating women. The decision was taken after the experts changed their suggestions.

Previously pregnant and breastfeeding women were not allowed to undergo Covid-19 vaccination, because there was not enough evidence to guarantee its safety. However, in a press conference at the end of last year (31/12), the Chief Executive for the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency in the UK, Dr June Raine and clinical pharmacologist Sir Munir Pirmohamed said vaccines could be given to pregnant women.

Dr Raine said there was already more data on the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant and lactating women. The data has also been reviewed.

“The Drug Commission has suggested that vaccines could be considered for use in pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh the risks, after individual discussions with each mother,” said Dr Raine. The Sun on Monday (4/1).

Dr Raine said, to get the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, every pregnant woman must always discuss the benefits and risks of vaccination with their respective health experts. Joint decisions can be made based on individual circumstances.

“Mothers who are breastfeeding now can also be given vaccines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pirmohamed said that the safety profile of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford is similar to Pfizer’s. He said the vaccine data is limited to pregnant or breastfeeding women.

A full report will be published by the MHRA, but the experts did not reveal what new data emerged for the guidelines to be changed. Despite the assurances from experts, papers published on government websites for health care professionals indicate that there is still “limited experience with the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine in pregnant women.”

The guidelines state that preliminary animal studies show no direct or indirect harmful effects on pregnancy or embryonic development. However, these animal studies are not yet complete.

“The full relevance of animal studies to human risks with a vaccine for Covid-19 remains to be established,” said the expert.

Thus, giving AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine in pregnancy should only be considered if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the mother and the fetus. The guidelines also state that it is not known whether there is a vaccine in breast milk or not.

The conclusions in the paper state that the preliminary animal studies did not show any direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to fertility. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, once said it was important to include pregnant and breastfeeding women in vaccine trials because they were at risk of developing more severe disease, but it had to be done with extreme care.

“We have to complete certain toxicology studies before we can enroll pregnant women in trials and that’s all in the planning stages at this time,” he said.

Pregnant women will not be included in the vaccine launch at this early stage. Pregnant and nursing mothers will be one group that will need further assessment.

“We hope to add it to groups that can receive the vaccine at a slower stage,” he explained.