Mumbai: Lactating mothers soon to be allowed walk-in for vaccination

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will allow walk-ins for lactating mothers to get vaccine in Mumbai on Tuesday or Wednesday. This comes after the Centre last week gave approval to start vaccination for lactating mothers.

Civic officials said they have received guidelines from the Indian Council of Medical Education and Research (ICMR) and soon they will be issuing guidelines for the same.

Senior health officials said they will hold meetings with hospital authorities and preparing fresh guidelines. They will direct all the vaccination centres to make necessary arrangements for lactating mothers.

“We were ready to vaccinate but due to shortage of vaccines citizens are being vaccinated phase wise. We have covered all age groups except lactating mothers and pregnant women. But now we have got approval for and have received the guidelines for it which will be followed at all the vaccine centres. We are issuing guidelines and all lactating mothers will be allowed walk-ins at the vaccine centres,” he said.

In the meantime, the BMC issued a statement saying if pregnant women wish to receive the covid vaccine, such pregnant women will need to be given a written certificate from the gynecologist treating them on their header (letterhead) regarding covid vaccination.

Pregnant women will also have to give their consent for vaccination after receiving such a certificate from a gynecologist. Both the gynecologist's certificate and the consent form should be brought along with the vaccination center and handed over to the vaccination center. Moreover, Lactating mothers and pregnant women will be allowed to walk-in at vaccination centres in the first three days of the week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).

Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist, P.D Hinduja Hospital & MRC said there is a significant amount of data available for mRNA vaccines being safe in pregnancy.

While the data for non-mRNA vaccines is not as robust yet, there is no reason to strongly believe that the vaccine carries any risk in pregnancy (the clinical trials did not include pregnant women, which is why there was a lack of data, but there wasn't any reason to believe that it is unsafe).

“Pregnancy is now being recognized as a risk factor for moderate-to-severe disease, which is why the potential benefits of vaccination possibly outweigh the potential risks. Women with underlying clotting disorders should discuss the risks and benefits with their obstetricians before making an informed decision,” he said.

Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP and deputy leader of the party, on Monday informed in tweet that the BMC is going to give the option for Covid vaccination to pregnant women as well.

Dr Ashwini Bhalerao Gandhi, Consultant Gynecologist at P D Hinduja hospital said vaccination against Covid during pregnancy and lactation, at present there is limited data regarding safety of vaccines. The main concern is whether vaccination will lead to anomalies in foetus or have any ill effects on going pregnancy like miscarriage or premature delivery etc.

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