Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has launched ‘Mathru-kavacham’, a COVID-19 vaccination drive for carrying women. Here is a fact-check on the initiative:
Which is the safest vaccine for pregnant women?
All vaccines available in India are safe. However, Covishield and Covaxin are given under the programme as they are sufficiently available.
Can the vaccine be taken during the early months of pregnancy?
The vaccine can be received during any month of the pregnancy. Carrying women are advised not to take unnecessary medication during the first three months as it is the time of organ formation for the foetus. However, neither the coronavirus nor the vaccine against it travels to the developing baby, according to studies.
During the first wave of the pandemic, seven pregnant women lost their lives in Kerala, while the number increased to over 40 in the second wave. This stresses the need to vaccinate carrying women.
Is the vaccine safe for women having high-risk pregnancy?
Factors such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid, artificial insemination, obesity and twins make a pregnancy high-risk. Of the over 1.25 lakh pregnant women who took the vaccine around the world so far, no complications have been reported. Even those taking anticoagulants can be given the vaccine safely.
Should you take medicine for fever arising after vaccination?
Like every other vaccinated person, pregnant women also may develop fever. Drink plenty of water and if the pregnancy is past the first trimester, paracetamol could be taken at four-hour intervals.
What precautions are needed for those having allergies?
As pregnant women are given the jab in hospital, inform the medical personnel in advance so that they could arrange precautionary measures.
Will the vaccine provide protection to the foetus?
The vaccine is intended to keep only the mother safe. If a woman contacts COVID-19 during her pregnancy, the growing foetus will not be affected. Similarly, if a breastfeeding mother is vaccinated, the proteins in the vaccine will reach the oesophagus of the infant but will not mix with the blood.
Many mothers complain of mental stress caused by COVID-19 vaccine and also by Zika. How can it be tackled?
As Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, try to avoid their bite. Also, conduct tests if anyone in the house shows symptoms of the disease. Only a mutant form of zika virus is dangerous for pregnant women.
Regarding COVID-19 vaccine, India is the eighteenth country in the world to vaccinate pregnant women and the process has been very smooth so far.
Phone number can be changed
Meanwhile, the authorities have informed that the mobile phone number used for registration for vaccination on the Cowin portal could be changed. Four persons can be registered from one mobile number.
(Information courtesy: Dr. Lakshmi Ammal, Consultant Gynaecologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram)