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Need to prioritize pregnant women for Covid-19 vaccination: Report | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid rising deaths of pregnant women due to Covid-19, a report has made a strong case for their priority vaccination.
Lest Covid further exacerbate the already heavy burden of maternal and under-five mortality, there is a strong case for including pregnant women as a high priority group for vaccination, a report prepared by a group of doctors. Directed by Yamini Sarwal from Delhi. said Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital.
“We recommend including the Covid-19 vaccine in the routine protocol for prenatal care in all countries, particularly in India and Indonesia, in view of their high dual burden,” he said.
Currently, pregnant women are not included for vaccination or policies are ambiguous and the decision is often left to the woman, according to the report.
Evidence is emerging for the safety and efficacy of Covid vaccination, which along with the benefits of transmitting protection to the newborn, necessitates including pregnant women in the high-priority vaccination group, he said.
Noting that pregnant women are known to have a significantly higher risk of serious coronavirus-related complications compared to non-pregnant women, she said the issue of protecting those women is critical.
Vaccination has emerged as a reliable protective measure against severe Covid-19 infection, the report noted.
Of the 20 main countries affected by Covid, nine allow the vaccination of pregnant women, of which two preferentially vaccinate them. In contrast, four of the 20 countries with high under-five mortality allow vaccination of pregnant women, while none include them in the preferential group. India and Indonesia, with a fifth of the world’s population, are in both groups, but do not include pregnant women for vaccination.
Many organizations have represented the government for the inclusion of pregnant women for vaccination.
Last month, the Delhi Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (DCPCR) submitted a motion to the Supreme Court against the Union government’s January 14 warning excluding pregnant and lactating women from vaccination.
Defending prioritization, the report said that pregnant women experience a more serious Covid-19 disease than non-pregnant women.
They are more likely to require hospitalization, ICU admission, receive invasive ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation compared to non-pregnant women, he said, adding that there is a 70% higher risk of death among symptomatic pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women. -pregnant women.
Women who contract the coronavirus infection during pregnancy experience increased maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, he added.
Noting that vaccination against Covid during pregnancy has a double benefit, he said that both mother and newborn get antibodies that have been shown in umbilical cord blood and breast milk.



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