Covid vaccination FAQs for expecting and new mothers: All you need to know
Yes, menstruating women can take the shot. In fact women can get vaccinated while waiting for periods and after it is over; they can take it when they are bleeding heavily or lightly.
CHENNAI: Ahead of Mother’s Day, which is observed on May 9 every year, Express asked some pertinent questions to Dr Spoorthi Arun, American Board certified Internal Medicine Physician, Promed Hospital and Dr Padmapriya Vivek, Head of the Department, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gleneagles Global Health City, about what women should know before taking the Covid-19 vaccine.
Here’s what they had to say
Can women get vaccinated against Covid-19 while menstruating? Is there any correlation between vaccination and menstrual cycle?
Yes, menstruating women can take the shot. In fact women can get vaccinated while waiting for periods and after it is over; they can take it when they are bleeding heavily or lightly. There is no additional risk associated with menstruation. Some women tend to feel extra tired if they get the jab while menstruating and few women have reported that their periods have shifted by a couple of days during that menstrual cycle, but overall it is safe.
Can women who are on contraception courses and women planning for babies get vaccinated?
Women on contraceptives can certainly get vaccinated. Women who are planning for pregnancy are advised to wait for two weeks after the second dose of vaccination before planning for a baby. Pregnant women fall in the vulnerable group in terms of immunity. It might be safer for them to be immunised before getting pregnant.
Some countries around the world have started vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding women. What about India?
Tamil Nadu government doesn’t favour pregnant and lactating women getting the vaccine. This is because the Covishield and Covaxin trials on women in this category are insufficient; also there is not enough data. However, Dr Spoorthi Arun says that ideally lactating mothers should be encouraged to get vaccinated as they may pass on the antibodies to their babies. She said that vaccines that inoculate dead or deactivated viruses are usually safe for pregnant and lactating mothers. Dr Arun said that there are several ethical dilemmas as pregnant women have to be advised against vaccination.
What should be done about unplanned pregnancies in between doses or if a woman is unsure if she is pregnant?
There is no need for an abortion if the woman gets to know about an unplanned pregnancy in between two shots of the vaccine or within two weeks of the second short. The second dose can be delayed until after childbirth and lactation. If a woman is unsure if she’s pregnant, she can wait till her next period and schedule the vaccination accordingly.
Is there greater fear associated with vaccination among women? Which are the groups of women who express hesitation?
Even for emergency care, women receive delayed help. The gap can be expected to be greater when it comes to preventive health like vaccines. Women with Thyroid abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, fibroids, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and recent surgeries in the uterus have been scared about getting vaccinated, but all of them can safely get vaccinated.