In a statement published on Wednesday 9th of June 2021, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and national vaccine advisory group ATAGI said they had revised their recommendation on the basis of data collected in vaccine recipients abroad.
Pregnant women are now being encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, after previous advice that they should wait until after pregnancy for their shot if they were not at high risk of coming into contact with the virus or developing more severe illness.
The two organisations are now recommending that pregnant women be offered the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of their pregnancy.
“This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby,” they said in a statement, although the “large majority” will only experience mild illness.
“Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy,” they added.
“Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breast milk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.”
The organisations encouraged pregnant women to discuss the timing of their vaccination with a health professional.
“Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination,” they said.
The advice for women who are breastfeeding – that it is safe to receive a vaccine during this time – remains unchanged.
If you require further information, please contact our Nursing Team!