THE Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has not yet been assessed in pregnancy so the government has advised that pregnant or breast-feeding women should not have the vaccine.
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, commented: "A range of vaccines are routinely and safely offered during pregnancy but as specific clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines in pregnant women have not yet been carried out, there isn’t sufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of Covid-19 vaccines to pregnant or breast feeding women.
"Women planning a pregnancy within three months of receiving the first dose are also being advised not to have the vaccine, but this is precautionary advice until we have information from research studies in pregnancy.
"We recognise this will have a large impact on women who are pregnant, and those planning their pregnancy. That’s why, along with the Royal College of Midwives, we’re calling on the UK government to fund research studies to establish the suitability of any approved COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
"The UK has a world leading research and development sector to support a national effort to research the vaccine’s suitability for use in pregnancy and we are calling for research trials, supported by the Vaccine Taskforce, to begin urgently to get evidence on safety. The outcomes of this research will be vital for the over 800,000 women each year who conceive, as well as the many women planning a pregnancy.
"In the meantime, we continue to urge pregnant women to follow government advice about social distancing and to get their free flu vaccination to protect them and their baby against flu this winter."
The RCOG has published Q&As for pregnant women on COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy and breastfeeding