With the ongoing pandemic, Singaporeans are debating whether pregnant women should get vaccinated. While some articles advocate that getting vaccinated is the right move to protect both the mother and the baby, others suggest that they should take a wait-and-see approach.
On the one hand, some global health authorities are cautious about implementing vaccination for pregnant women. They encourage expectant mothers to patiently wait until more data has been gathered before getting jabbed.
On the other hand, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), alongside prominent organizations like The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), have given their thumbs up that pregnant women can, in fact, get vaccinated.
Is it Advisable for Pregnant Women to Get COVID-19 Vaccines?
As of May 2021, MOH states that women who are currently pregnant can get vaccinated.
Based on the data gathered for Phase II and Phase III clinical trials of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines on Singapore’s non-pregnant population, the results for pregnant women should demonstrate similar safety and efficacy as their non-pregnant counterparts.
On June 4, 2021, the Singaporean government opened up vaccination registration for pregnant women, but not many are seizing the opportunity. The majority of them are still cautious about its effects on the unborn baby and are not willing to take the risk.
Although gynaecologists and experts understand pregnant women’s concerns on the matter, they stress that the risk of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus while pregnant outweighs the potential threats from the vaccination.
Regarding their concerns on the effects on the unborn child, the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Singapore (COGS) say that vaccination protects the baby. The antibodies that expectant mothers produce after the vaccination are transmitted to the fetus, which in turn protects them while in the womb. However, further studies still need to be conducted to distinguish the extent of this protection.
According to MOH’s expert committee, emerging data from over 3,900 pregnant women who have had their vaccines do not show any negative side effects. Studies suggest no evidence to claim that approved COVID-19 vaccines, mainly Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19, cause any harm to expectant mothers or their unborn babies.
What are the Main Concerns of Expectant Mothers?
Although experts have said that getting the vaccine causes no harm to pregnant women and their babies, most expectant mothers still opt to take the wait-and-see approach to avoid the potential risk of complications, as it still remains their top concern.
Some mothers are concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccine on their children as no studies about it have been published yet. They are still not satisfied with the available developments and would like to wait until more concrete data has been collected before making that decision.
What are the Effects of COVID-19 During Pregnancy?
If pregnant women decide to get the vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy, the side effects are not life-threatening. Experts say that pregnant women experience the same effects as everyone else, which might include nausea, vomiting, mild fever, and body ache.
Before taking any medications to treat the effects, they should visit a gynaecologist and consult with their doctor.
Studies have also shown that the vaccine is safe for people with medical conditions, breastfeeding mothers, and those that plan to expand their families.
As of the moment, no harmful effects have been found on any of the studies done. Still, pregnant women are worried about not having a healthy pregnancy.
For more information and updates on Singapore’s COVID-19 Vaccination program, visit the MOH COVID-19 Vaccination Page. You can also read up on gov.sg’s article to find out more about COVID-19 vaccines.