Covid-19: Can pregnant women take Pfizer’s vaccine? This and other questions answered
After the United Kingdom rolled out Pfizer-Biotech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), several countries, including India, are gearing up to grant emergency use authorisation to different vaccine candidates. While the governments around the world will be targeting frontline workers and people at higher risk to inoculate them against the virus, some groups may have to wait longer even after the vaccine becomes available for the general public.
The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK is currently offering Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in some hospitals to health care workers at high risk, people aged 80 and above who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks, and those who work in care homes. But the health care provider has also advised some groups to wait for the vaccination.
Here’s the list of people who should avoid Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for now:
Pregnant women: The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been assessed in pregnancy, so the NHS has advised that until more information is available, those who are pregnant should not have this vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) wants to see more non-clinical data before finalising the advice in pregnancy.
Planning to get pregnant: The NHS has advised delaying the vaccination for those who are planning to get pregnant in the next three months. Alternatively, they can start the two-dose course now and avoid getting pregnant until at least 2 months after the second dose.
Breastfeeding: Such a group should wait until they have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccine. “If you were breastfeeding when you had the first dose you are advised not to have the second dose until you have finished breastfeeding,” says NHS.
People with a history of allergic reactions: The UK regulators have advised people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions to not get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The MHRA issued precautionary advice to the NHS after two health care staff members experienced allergic reactions. Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, testified to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, where she acknowledged that the cases of allergic reactions didn’t feature in the extensive clinical trials.