There is a lot of talk about the Covid vaccines, which ones are coming, when they are coming and how the vaccination schedule will look.
According to UK website Netmums, some fresh guidance has now been issued on the use of the coronavirus vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding mums, including recommendations from SAGE to avoid the Moderna vaccine until more trials have been completed.
Unless the women in question are health workers or have high-risk health conditions, SAGE has advised against the use of the Moderna vaccine for pregnant women, with the reason being that there have been no clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine on pregnant women yet.
Guidance on the Moderna vaccine for breastfeeding women reads:
‘The vaccine can be offered to a breastfeeding woman who is part of a group recommended for vaccination (e.g. health workers); discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination is currently not recommended.’
Speaking on the matter, Kate O’Brien, The World Health Organisation (WHO) director of immunisation, said:
‘There is no reason to think there could be a problem in pregnancy, we are just acknowledging the data is not there at the moment.’
What about the other vaccines?
Earlier this month, some information was issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in the UK, this time regarding the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines. According to the JCVI, both of these could be given to pregnant women if they are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
Pfizer and Oxford coronavirus vaccines in pregnancy
In the UK, some guidance was also issued in early January by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), stating that both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines against coronavirus CAN be given to pregnant women if they are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
Pregnant women should discuss their individual circumstances with their GP or midwife, especially if they have underlying conditions that put them ‘at very high risk of serious complications’ from coronavirus, or if risk of exposure to the virus is high – such as frontline healthcare workers.
‘There is no known risk associated with giving non-live vaccines during pregnancy. These vaccines cannot replicate, so they cannot cause infection in either the woman or the unborn child.’
However, the advice from JCVI also noted there isn’t enough evidence as yet to recommend the ‘routine use’ of the vaccines during pregnancy:
‘Although the available data do not indicate any safety concern or harm to pregnancy, there is insufficient evidence to recommend routine use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy.’
The JCVI has also updated its advice for breastfeeding women, saying it ‘has recommended that the vaccine can be received whilst breastfeeding’ which should be of comfort to many women and families.