KEY POINTS ABOUT COVID VACCINE THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Women who are pregnant are more likely to get severe symptoms of covid 19 infection as compared to non pregnant state as pregnancy is itself an immunocompromised state.
- Women receiving covid 19 vaccine gets less severe illness if infected with covid 19.
- Covid 19 vaccine is recommended for women who are pregnant, or planning to conceive or are breast feeding.
- There is no evidence suggesting that covid 19 vaccine may cause fertility problems in males or females.
Is covid 19 vaccine safe during pregnancy
Can I get covid 19 vaccine if I am pregnant? Is this vaccine safe for me and my baby? This is the question that is arising in the mind of many expectant mothers.
Evidence about safety and effectiveness of covid 19 vaccine during pregnancy is limited but is growing.It suggests benefits of receiving a vaccine outweighs any known risk of vaccination during pregnancy.
When women receive vaccine during pregnancy, their bodies build protecting antibodies against covid 19 virus . These antibodies are transferred to baby and protect their babies too.
How does covid 19 infection affect me if I am pregnant?
- Pregnant females who have covid 19 infection develop more severe illness.There are more chances that they may be needing ICU /ventilator support than if they were non pregnant. Although the risk is low but higher than their non pregnant counter part. This is because pregnancy is a thrombo-embolic state.
- If pregnancy is associated with some co morbid condition like gestational diabetes or obesity ,then the risk of severe illness due to covid 19 infection increases.
- If a pregnant female is infected with covid 19 ,then there is increased risk of pre eclampsia ( condition of high blood pressure in pregnancy)and coagulopathy.
How does covid 19 infection in me will affect my newborn baby ?
If the mother is infected with covid 19 infection and develop a severe illness,there are following risks to the baby:-
- There is increased risk of stillbirth of baby. (stillbirth means when the baby dies during delivery , it may be vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery)
- There is increased incidence of preterm birth. This leading to premature baby,low birth weight baby.
- There are increased chances of MSL (meconium stained liqour). It is a condition when the baby passes stools while still in the womb of mother.
All these complications occur in the baby.So there is more need for neonatal ICU after the delivery.
Should I get covid 19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes, you should definitely get both doses of covid 19 vaccine.
According to Govt of India guidelines,pregnant mothers can safely take these vaccines . It will be helpful to you and your baby as well. Covid 19 vaccine is safe in pregnancy. It will prevent you from severe illness if you get infected with this virus. Maternal transfer of protective antibodies after the vaccination to the baby will also protect your baby after the birth.
Should I take covid vaccine If I am breast feeding my baby?
Yes, you should get yourself vaccinated with covid 19 vaccine even if you are breast feeding. Small amount of protective antibodies develop after vaccination. These are transferred to baby through breast milk and give your baby immunity.
On the day of vaccination also, there is no need to stop breast feeding to your baby.You can breast feed your child as usual.
Should I get covid 19 vaccine if planning for pregnancy?
Yes,you should get your usual shot of vaccine even when trying /planning for pregnancy. There is no evidence to suugest that covid 19 vaccine has any impact on the fertility of couples.
What should I expect after the vaccination?
After the vaccine,there may be mild symptoms,especially after the first dose. You may get mild symptoms like fever,pain at the injection site,malaise.The symptoms vary from person to person. You may get a mild flu like illness.If it last more than 2 days then talk to your doctor.
Covid 19 vaccine is safe in any month of pregnancy. So the expectant mother should get their vaccination as early as possible irrespective of the trimester of pregnancy.
Even if you are breast feeding or planning for pregnancy , then also there is no reason to delay your vaccines. So get vaccinated as early as possible.
If you are pregnant and not fully vaccinated then, you should take some precautions. Like avoiding crowded places,wearing a properly fitted mask,hand hygiene. Also take your second dose of vaccine whenever it is due.