The vaccination campaign against Covid-19 goes on: what to do for pregnant and breastfeeding women
The vaccination campaign for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19, continues. And new questions arise about people who should get vaccinated. Particular attention is paid to pregnant and breastfeeding women, for whom there is no data capable of providing reliable information on vaccination.
The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) sheds light on this issue with a document, shared with numerous scientific societies, which indicates how to behave starting from one premise: vaccination is not contraindicated. The document, for now ad interim, is entitled Vaccination against COVID19 in pregnancy and breastfeeding and was developed by the Italian Obstetric Surveillance System (ItOSS) of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità.
How to behave
According to the document, women at high risk of contracting the disease in a severe form should discuss the potential benefits and risks of vaccination with their healthcare professionals, while if a woman discovers that she is pregnant after the first or second dose there is no. there is no reason to terminate the pregnancy.
The document reviews the main indications adopted at an international and national level, as well as the scientific evidence that has emerged so far on the subject. “In Italy – he underlines – pregnant and breastfeeding women suffer from the possibility of choosing, with the support of health professionals, whether or not to undergo vaccination after an individual assessment of the risk / benefit profile. The choice not to exclude vaccination during pregnancy concerns women who have a high risk of exposure to the Sars-CoV-2 virus and / or have health conditions that expose them to a risk of serious maternal and / or fetus / neonatal morbidity. following the infection. In these selected cases, women are invited to individually discuss the potential benefits and risks with the healthcare professionals who assist them, in order to make an informed and informed decision ”.
First of all, it must be said that the clinical studies on the Pfizer-BioNtech mRNA vaccine did not include women who were expecting a child or during the period of breastfeeding, so there are no safety and efficacy data for these people.
In any case, the studies conducted so far have neither highlighted nor suggested biological mechanisms that may associate mRNA vaccines with adverse effects in pregnancy and laboratory evidence on animals suggests the absence of vaccination risk.
At the moment, pregnant and breastfeeding women are not a priority target of the vaccination offer which, to date, is not routinely recommended for these people. In fact, from the data of the ItOSS study – relating to the first pandemic wave in Italy – it emerges that pregnant women do not present an increased risk of infection compared to the general population.
Women of African, Asian, Central and South American and Eastern European citizenship and those suffering from other diseases such as obesity or hypertension have a significantly higher risk of developing Covid-19 pneumonia which, overall, concern a minority of mothers and newborns.
Vaccination in any case should be considered for pregnant women who are at high risk of serious complications from Covid-19. Women in these conditions must evaluate the potential benefits and risks with the healthcare professionals who assist them and the choice must be made on a case by case basis.
For pregnancy, if you discover that you are pregnant after vaccination there is no evidence that you should think about the termination of pregnancy and if a woman discovers that she is pregnant between the first and the second dose of the vaccine, she can postpone the second. dose after termination of pregnancy, except for subjects at high risk. Finally, for those who are breastfeeding, there do not seem to be specific problems.