Vaccines are one of the many ways that can help prevent diseases contraction effectively. Covid 19 vaccine, in particular, help lessen the affect of Covid-19 should you ever tested positive.
Almost everyone can be vaccinated. Why ‘almost’?
Well, vaccines may affect people with some health conditions or undergoing certain treatments differently, hence why sometimes they are told to avoid vaccinations at that particular moment.
Conditions That May Require To Hold Off Vaccination Temporarily.
If you have these conditions, your doctor may tell you to avoid vaccination for the time being:
- Chronic illnesses or treatments (like chemotherapy) that affect the immune system;
- Severe and life-threatening allergies to vaccine ingredients, which are very rare;
- If you have severe illness and a high fever on the day of vaccination.
IMPORTANT: Those who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms should avoid getting vaccination for the moment. Reschedule your vaccination date if you have to.
Symptoms of Covid-19.
SAFETY OF COVID 19 VACCINE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
Previously the country’s health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advises pregnant woman and breastfeeding ladies to hold off vaccinations until more data can be gathered on the acquired Covid-19 vaccines.
This is not saying that expecting mothers should avoid getting vaccinated entirely.
Until further data is acquire, holding off vaccination temporarily is only a precaution to ensure that both mother and child will not meet with an unwanted complication due to their condition.
Some medical practitioners believed that the vaccine is safe for pregnant women in their third trimesters as the baby has undergone all crucial development by that time
In conjunction with the topic at hand, recently, Malaysia’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin states that only the Pfizer vaccine is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
With the recent roll out of AstraZeneca vaccine, this issue become yet again a popular topic of discussion.
Despite the statement made by our minister about the vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is not stated that the other vaccines are totally unsafe.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women must consult with their doctors first especially if they have other health complications or conditions.
To consult your doctor is to get information and recommendation, the decision is still in your hand.
Vaccines Available in Malaysia.
At the moment, there are only 3 vaccines available to be administered in Malaysia.
Only the Pfizer vaccine is confirmed to be safe for pregnant. What about the other vaccines?
Based on the chart above, breastfeeding mommies have the option of opting for Pfizer or AstraZeneca. Other vaccines are not recommended due to it not having enough data yet.
Difference Between The Vaccines:
The major difference between the 3 Covid 19 vaccine here is the make up of the vaccine.
Cominarty vaccine is a mRNA vaccine. It does not contain weakened or inactivated viral component. Instead it acts as a messenger to teach the cells to make antibodies for the virus.
AstraZeneca uses viral vector. This vaccine uses a modified version of a different virus which helps to relay the message to our cells about antibody production.
Sinovac is an inactivated vaccine. This means that the vaccine contains the virus but it is weakend or kill using special laboratory devices during production of this vaccine.
Health organization all over the world highly encourages both pregnant, and breastfeeding mommies to get vaccinated because the benefit outweighs the risk.
Planning For Pregnancy.
If you are planning to get pregnant before or after your vaccination, you wouldn’t need to worry about Covid-19 affecting your chances. The trials done so far supports the notion although the data is still limited.
Effects on Fertility.
Studies also show that, Covid-19 vaccines has no effect on one’s ability to reproduce.
Matter of fact, experts encourages women who are planning for pregnancy to get vaccinated before they get pregnant in order to protect both mother and child from the virus.
According to Khairy Jamaluddin, health experts recommends only the Pfizer Vaccine for pregnant women.
Pregnant women that contracts the Covid-19 virus have high chances to be hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They would require more care and breathing support. Fatality risk is also high in pregnant women, experts say.
Nonetheless, the actual chances of that happening is still relatively low.
Effects on Fetus.
Pregnant women that have a pre-conditioned diseases like diabetes or heart issues is at a higher risk for stillbirth or premature birth if they are positive Covid-19.
Covid-19 virus can potentially be transmitted to your fetus but current studies show no evidence of birth defects caused by the virus.
As for the vaccine, data gathered from vaccinated pregnant women shows that they experience the same side effects as non-pregnant women.
However, there are no reported cases of stillbirth or premature birth due to vaccination so far.
Pregnant mothers should get vaccinated in their week 14 to week 33 of pregnancy based on the recommendation of health experts.
Your baby’s immunity towards the virus can also be boost with vaccination. Study shows that pregnant women who were vaccinated using the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines transmits antibodies to their baby.
Although there are limited data, experts says based on how the vaccines works, it should not have any negative impact on lactating mothers.
Therefore, breastfeeding mothers are safe to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.
Effects on Breastmilk.
Vaccinations during breastfeeding are likely to effect your breastmilk. Recent studies reported that Covid-19 mRNA vaccinated mothers who are breastfeeding makes antibodies in their breastmilk that could help their baby against the virus.
Consultation with your doctor can help you understand the risk and benefits of vaccinating tailored to your own personal conditions.
Here are some vaccines that are not Covid 19 related but are already proven safe and are highly recommended for pregnant woman.
Other Vaccines (Non-Covid19 Related):
1. Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
This vaccine can help prevent influenza A, B and C.
It has a good safety record and pose no threat to both the mother and baby. Medical practitioners advices everyone to take this vaccine annually.
This is because the influenza virus mutates easily and the virus changes from type to type every year.
2. TDaP Vaccine
TDaP stands for T (Tetanus) D (Diphtheria) aP (Pertussis); are names of diseases that can be prevented with this vaccine.
Pertussis or also known as whooping cough in particular can cause pneumonia, seizures, and the death of the baby.
Pregnant mothers should get this vaccine so their babies are protected from TDap diseases after birth.
Getting vaccinated is important not only for the individual but also for the community as a whole.
You can do your part by getting yourself vaccinated!
However, we do advise mothers to always consult with their doctors first before going for any vaccinations.