COVID-19 vaccination: Pregnant women can now registered for jabs on CoWIN platform; Walk-in allowed
New Delhi, July 02: In a recent development, the government on Friday said that pregnant women can now register on the CoWIN platform or can visit vaccination centres for COVID-19 shots, adding that it had shared rules and procedures with states to roll out the programme.
Signalling a major policy shift that follows growing concern over exposure of expectant mothers (and their children) to COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said last Friday that pregnant women "can and should" be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Earlier, lactating women were eligible for the vaccine but pregnant women were not; the government had said this was due to a lack of safety and efficacy data since clinical trials for vaccines do not typically include pregnant women as participants.
"The Health Ministry has given guidelines that the vaccine can be given to pregnant women. Vaccination is useful for them and should be given," Dr Balram Bhargava, Director-General of the Indian Council for Medical Research had said.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women was one of the topics discussed by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, in May.
"Considering current situation of pandemic, NTAGI-STSC recommends pregnant women should not be excluded from vaccination because exposure probability is very high and therefore the benefit far outweighs the risk," the committee had said.
Doubts were raised about possible risks to the mother and/or child - including that of clotting (or thrombosis) with the Covishield jab, but the committee decided "benefit far outweighs the risk".
It can be seen that the second wave of COVID-19 hit India hard, with lakhs infected and thousands dead daily.
At its peak over four lakh new cases were reported in a 24-hour period, and analysis of mortality data from certain states suggests Covid-related fatalities in this period were grossly undercounted.