The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday reteirated that COVID-19 vaccines which are being administered in India are safe for lactating mothers. Earlier, the clarification was issued when only Covaxin and Covishield were getting administered, however today while addressing the media, Dr. VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, said that Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik and Moderna are safe for lactating mothers. "Vaccine has no association with infertility," he added.
He also said that advisory for pregnant women with regards to vaccination will be released soon. "Vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and the Health Ministry is examining it further," he added.
The government in last month had said that COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all lactating women, however it shall be taking a final call on vaccines for pregnant women.
As per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and it recommends this group to receive the vaccines. However, currently, there is limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people, according to the public health agency.
Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava few days ago said. "The Ministry of Health has given guidelines that COVID-19 vaccines can be given to pregnant women. Vaccines are useful for them and should be given."
Official guidelines are yet to be shared by the health ministry. Until now, only lactating women were eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, as the government was deliberating whether vaccines should be recommended to pregnant women in view of limited safety data available.
Meanwhile, the health ministry also confirmed that the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given nod to Cipla for import of Moderns' COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna's vaccine will be the fourth COVID-19 jab to be available in India after Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik.
Mumbai-based pharmaceutical multinational Cipla, on behalf of the US pharma major Moderna, had requested for import and marketing authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccines.
India has achieved another milestone in its ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive by overtaking the US in terms of total number of doses administered so far, securing highest position among top six countries of the world.
India has so far administered Covid vaccine doses to 32,36,63,297 people while the number of people inoculated so far in the US are 32,33,27,328. If compared to the timeline, India's Covid vaccination drive started on January 16 this year almost one month after the similar exercise was started by the US on December 14 last year.