Being pregnant in a time of a global pandemic can be very stressful. Moms-to-be are understandably worried about both contracting the virus, as well as the possible adverse effects of vaccines on their babies.
What does the evidence say? Should you be vaccinated if you are currently pregnant?
It’s about weighing the risks of a COVID-19 infection versus that of possible vaccine adverse events.
Pregnant women are at a greater risk than non pregnant women for severe disease after getting COVID-19 infection. The development of serious complications might increase the pregnant woman’s risk of requiring intensive unit care (ICU), invasive ventilation, as well as developing lethal complications like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. They also have a doubled risk of preterm birth if they are symptomatic as the babies may require intensive care.
On the other hand, pregnant women should consider the risks of the vaccine for themselves and their child.
In that regard, the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective.
Real world evidence of 35,000 pregnant women in the US who received the mRNA based vaccines (i.e. Pfizer and Moderna) showed no difference between pregnancy complications between unvaccinated and vaccinated women. Effectiveness was also shown in an Israel study that showed lower risk for vaccinated pregnant women compared to unvaccinated ones.
The mRNA vaccines have been shown to generate antibody production in both pregnant and breastfeeding women. These antibodies, designed to protect against the virus, are transferred passively across the placenta to the baby during pregnancy and should provide some degree of immunity when the baby is born.
How and when to get vaccinated?
You are advised to get vaccinated after 13 weeks of pregnancy after having an informed discussion with your obstetrician. Side effects can be managed with standard treatment like paracetamol, which is safe for use in pregnancy. Our site is also equipped to handle any immediate vaccination related emergencies such as a severe allergic reaction.
The data for safety and efficacy for COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women has shown to be positive. Though we are unable to have longer term results, patients should discuss with their obstetrician to weigh the risks of COVID-19 complications with risks of potential vaccine events.
Getting your Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine at Intemedical Clinic
Before your visit - Book your appointment through https://www.vaccine.gov.sg/ and select Intemedical Clinic (Kovan) - Both doses must be taken at the same centre - Appointment times are between 1pm - 9.30pm
At your visit - Bring proof of your identification (Eg. NIRC/Passport) - Patients <18 years of age will require parental consent - Patients between 12-13 years of age will need parent/legal guardian to come along - Set aside about 1 hour for the visit including 30 minutes of observation time
After your vaccination - Remember to book your appointment for your 2nd vaccination - Rest and hydrate. Take medications for symptomatic relief for common side effects such as pain over the injection site or fever. If your fever lasts more than 2 days, consult a doctor. - Avoid alcohol for 2 days. Avoid vigorous exercise for 1 week.