Bengaluru: Keen on vaccine, pregnant women ask doctors for shots | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: After the central government allowed lactating mothers to take the Covid-19 vaccine, gynaecologists in Bengaluru are being swamped with queries from pregnant women if they too can take the jab.
With many Covid-19 positive pregnant women suffering complications during childbirth, young women appear to be developing an eagerness for the vaccine, doctors say.
In a communication to the government, the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) had said the benefits of vaccinating pregnant women appear to far outweigh “theoretical and remote risks” of not inoculating them.
In early May, FOGSI wrote to the Centre, urging it to extend Covid-19 immunisation to lactating mothers and pregnant women and to frame guidelines for the process. While lactating women were allowed to take the vaccine from May 19, there was no word on pregnant women.
“There is no increase in maternal side effects with vaccine administration in pregnancy as compared to nonpregnant women. Women who have delivered after receiving the vaccine during their pregnancy do not show any increased risk,” FOGSI had said.
Dr Shashikala Ksheerasagar, obstetrician and gynecologist, Vikram Hospital, said many pregnant women are keen on taking the vaccine as they have been jolted with what they heard and read about the ordeal some mothers-to-be faced after contracting severe Covid.
“Pregnant women are one of the most vulnerable groups,” said Dr Ksheerasagar. “If we don’t vaccinate pregnant women when they are most vulnerable during a pandemic, when are we going to do it? The idea is that we don’t want pregnant women to get infected.”
She said pregnant women working in healthcare facilities must especially get vaccinated as the risk of contracting the infection is very high. She said the danger arises only when pregnant women are given a “live virus” vaccine. “But Covid vaccines are inactivated or killed virus vaccines so it is safe to inoculate pregnant women,” she said.
Inadvertently inoculated:
Dr Ksheerasagar revealed some of her patients, especially those in the healthcare sector, had taken the vaccine inadvertently after they had conceived. “Some who had irregular periods didn’t know they were pregnant and took the vaccine. They have had no problems. The vaccine is safe,” she said.
Unlike the first wave where many pregnant women were asymptomatic and had little or no complications, gynecologists say the second wave has not been so kind.
“We have seen infected pregnant women suffering abortions, preterm labour and even intrauterine deaths,” said Dr Vidya Bhat, fertility specialist, medical director, Radhakrishna Multispeciality Hospital. “We have seen a decrease in amniotic fluid or oligoamnios especially among Covid-positive women who have completed the 26th week. Probably the severity of the second wave has created more awareness, but many pregnant women have no fear of the vaccine and are aggressively demanding it.”
Woman in 7th month of pregnancy took 1st dose on May 8:

Prascilla (name changed) from Jayanagar, currently in the third trimester, is among the many pregnant women in Bengaluru who have taken the vaccine.
“My doctor suggested I better take the Covid vaccine since it is already being advised for pregnant women in Europe and in the US,” the 36-year-old said. “Initially I had my doubts, but I researched it. I got the first dose of Covishield on May 8,” said Prascilla. She had a slight fever and headache for a day but took no medicine and was fine the next day.
Prascilla is due to deliver by mid-July and is keen on getting a second dose before that. “My second dose is slotted in the second week of August, as the interval has been extended to three months,” she said.
In February, a forensic expert’s pregnant wife had taken the vaccine, after her husband requested the government for it. Since the doctor was working in a high viral load area, the woman was given the vaccine as a special case but at her own risk.

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Sagar Biswas

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