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What are other countries saying about taking the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or while nursing?

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Are you feeling pressured as a mother to take the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or while nursing, while the safety data is still quite limited?

Do you know that vaccinating pregnant and nursing mothers with the new COVID-19 vaccines is STILL highly debated around the globe?

We at Accessible Professionals are not here to pressure you into vaccination or shame you if you want to wait until more information is available to be vaccinated. We support your autonomy to do what you believe is best for you and your motherly instinct to do what is best for your family. You may be aware of many voices saying that vaccination for mothers who are pregnant or lactating should be safe. We want you to also be aware of the voices that are opposed to vaccination of pregnant or lactating mothers due to the lack of sufficient safety information of the COVID-19 vaccines for such mothers.

See below for a summarization of statements from government and professional associations across the globe. The summaries are based on information published in a Clinical Opinion article by FA Chervenak in the May 2021 Issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. We recognize that information is changing rapidly on this topic and that over time some or all positions of the authorities summarized may be revised.

Let us look together at the international guidance on vaccinating pregnant or lactating persons from different government and professional associations…

USA—ACOG, SMFM: vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination; should be offered to lactating individuals.

Canada--SOGC: for individuals at high risk of infection or morbidity from COVID-19, the risk of not getting the vaccine outweighs the theorized risk of vaccination during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Austria—health ministry: vaccination is contraindicated in pregnant & breastfeeding women.

France—health ministry : vaccination during pregnancy is not recommended due to insufficient information about the risks.

Germany—Robert Koch Institute: vaccination in pregnancy and while breastfeeding is only recommended after individual risk-benefit assessment.

Ireland-- Royal College of Physicians: a pregnant woman should be able to choose vaccination if she falls in to a priority group.

UK—Joint Committee on Vaccination: initial response was that pregnant women should not be vaccinated; the subsequent advice was that if a pregnant woman is clinically extremely vulnerable she should discuss the option with her OBGYN or her doctor; current advice is that vaccinations should be offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population.

Netherlands—National Institute for Public Health: recommended to postpone vaccination until after pregnancy.

Israel: priority given to breastfeeding and pregnant women.

Japan: pregnant women will not ben given vaccine priority due to insufficient knowledge.

WHO: pregnant women at high risk of exposure or who have comorbidities which add to their risk may be vaccinated in consultation with their health care provider

Yours in health and wellness,

Dr. Kia Lannaman

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