The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been urging pregnant women to take the Covid-19 vaccine before the third wave hits. Going by its data, 1,004 pregnant women have taken the jab since July 15. Of these, 446 were administered the dose at state and civic vaccination centres.
As per the statistics, 926 pregnant women have taken the first dose and 78 have received both the doses. “We are doing our best to encourage pregnant women to take the vaccine. However, due to the myths surrounding it, not many are stepping forward,” said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC. Meanwhile, hospital deans have been directed to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated when they visit.
There are 35 dedicated Covid-19 vaccination centres for pregnant women. “Pregnant women and lactating mothers have ample grounds to be concerned. None of the vaccine trials included these categories. It seems to be the case that mothers in their second and third trimester are less willing to get vaccinated in comparison to those in their first trimester,” said a senior gynecologist from a civic hospital.
Dr Danny Laliwala, consultant, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, said it is vital that pregnant women get vaccinated against Covid-19, as the complications of such infections are known to increase during pregnancy. In India, all the three available vaccines (Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik) are safe. Taking both doses will help reduce maternal complications and protect the foetus. Generally, the vaccine should be taken after the third month of pregnancy.
“Some women are still reluctant to take the vaccine during pregnancy. They feel that they may harbour the virus in them and infect the baby. Some feel that the vaccine may produce some abnormalities in the baby. But these are just myths. Studies conducted worldwide so far have found the vaccines to be quite safe during pregnancy, both for the mother and the baby. Covid-19 vaccines can be combined with other vaccines during pregnancy. However, one needs to ensure that there is a gap of at least 14 days between the two,” said Dr Laliwala.