BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has said pregnant women in communities where the COVID-19 pandemic is widespread could get vaccinated against the deadly virus.
The health mother body said it was necessary for expecting mothers to be vaccinated if the benefits of getting the jab outweighed the risks of contracting the virus.
This followed growing public concerns about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant women and lactating mothers.
WHO Africa regional vaccines officer Phiona Atuhebwe in a statement yesterday said: “Pregnant women should get the vaccine when the benefits outweigh the risks. They face a high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. We do not yet have enough data on the safety of the vaccine on pregnant women.
“However data from the United States where around 90 000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with mRNA vaccines like Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have not raised any safety concerns.”
She added: “Pregnant women should get the vaccine to protect themselves if the virus is widespread in their communities or if they have other conditions that put them at more risk of severe illness. These conditions include diabetes, hypertension, obesity and others.”
Atuhebwe urged health workers to provide the necessary information on the vaccines to women, adding that countries have different guidelines based on their situations.