Pregnant women now eligible for Covid-19 vaccination; CoWIN registration, walk-in allowed

On the side effects of the Covid vaccines, the government had earlier, in a factsheet, stated that the vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against Covid-19 disease like other individuals.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday formally announced that pregnant women are now eligible for Covid-19 vaccination for which they can register on the CoWIN portal or walk in to the nearest Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC).

The Union health ministry has given the approval based on recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI). The decision empowers pregnant women to make an informed choice on taking the Covid vaccination, the ministry said.

The decision has been communicated to all the states and union territories to implement it under the ongoing National Covid Vaccination Program, it said in a statement.

Pregnant women, who opt for vaccination, can be inoculated with Covid vaccines available in the country any time during their pregnancy at the nearest government or private vaccination centre after registration on CoWIN or by walk-in registration at the nearest centre, the statement further said.

The procedures and modalities like registration, generation of certificates after vaccination etc. will remain the same as it is for any beneficiaries above 18 years of age under the Covid vaccination programme, it added.

A few days back, the ministry had prepared a factsheet to guide frontline workers and vaccinators on counselling pregnant women about the value and precautions of the Covid-19 vaccine so that they can make an informed decision.

On the side effects of the Covid vaccines, the government factsheet had stated that the vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against Covid-19 illness/disease like other individuals.

Although more than 90 per cent infected pregnant women recover without any need for hospitalisation, rapid deterioration in health may occur in a few and that might affect the foetus also, the document said, adding that therefore, it is advised that a pregnant woman should take Covid-19 vaccine.

In case a woman has been infected with coronavirus during the current pregnancy, then she should be vaccinated soon after the delivery, the government statement said.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had said that “women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy…should not receive COVID-19 vaccine” since they had not been part of any COVID vaccine trials. Following the recent National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) meeting on May 28, it has been recommended that pregnant women should also be vaccinated since “exposure probability is very high” and that the “benefit far outweighs the risk”.

The Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Society of India had earlier in April recommended that obstetricians and gynaecologists and women’s healthcare providers should be allowed to administer Covid-19 vaccines to pregnant and breastfeeding women with preparations to manage adverse events.

They, however, said that individual practitioners cannot advise vaccination to pregnant and lactating women in India until there is a change in recommendations from the MOHFW, GOI.

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