RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.
Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.
Here is the link for shared decision making for women planning pregnancy, women at any stage of pregnancy and breast feeding women. This is of significance to medical women during COVID-19 as these have been very unsettling times for all, not quite knowing how to advise our colleagues who work in the front line and who are pregnant. Overseas studies do not indicate any increased adverse events for the unborn children of women who are vaccinated.
We are keen to observe the findings from the first large study in the UK. The current UK vaccination guide for pregnant women is here. Importantly, they state that “there is no need to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant” and in line with WHO and USA, has recommended that the vaccines can be received whilst breastfeeding. the initial seminal paper is here (Gray KJ, Bordt EA, Atyeo C, Deriso E, Akinwunmi B, Young N, Baez AM, Shook LL, Cvrk D, James K, De Guzman R, Brigida S, Diouf K, Goldfarb I, Bebell LM, Yonker LM, Fasano A, Rabi SA, Elovitz MA, Alter G, Edlow AG. Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine response in pregnant and lactating women: a cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Mar 26:S0002-9378(21)00187-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2021.03.023. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33775692; PMCID: PMC7997025.)
Assoc. Professor Magdalena Simonis
MBBS FRACGP DRANZCOG MHHS
President, Australian Federation of Medical Women
Medical Women’s International Association co-Chair Scientific and Research Committee
Magdalena is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020).
Magdalena’s deep engagements with the RACGP over many years includes chair of Women in General Practice, is currently on the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, prior to that on RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is a regular media spokesperson on numerous health issues, being interviewed most weeks by mainstream and medical media. Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews.
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner she supervises medical students and undertakes general practice research. Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of Women’s Health Victoria and Chair of their Strategy and Policy subcommittee and the AMA Victoria GP Network Committee.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was recently appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA).