Review

An imperative to offer pregnant and lactating women access to the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme

J Moodley, N C Ngene, O P Khaliq, M Hunter

Abstract


In view of the continuing worldwide spread of COVID-19 infection, the increased morbidity and mortality from the disease during pregnancy, and the current efficacy and safety of vaccines in non-pregnant individuals, vaccines should not be withheld from women simply because of pregnancy or lactation. All pregnant women, especially healthcare professionals, should be offered vaccination and counselled about its advantages and disadvantages by their maternity care providers. Complete eradication of COVID-19 infection will be possible if potential niduses of the infection, which may act as sources for future outbreaks, are protected against the pathogen. However, if a hypothetical medication is the only means yet proven of limiting severe compromise to maternal health, access to the medication should be at the pregnant woman’s discretion. Shared decision-making requires physicians to actively engage with their patients and share their knowledge about the subject matter.


Authors' affiliations

J Moodley, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

N C Ngene, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Leratong Hospital, Krugersdorp, South Africa; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

O P Khaliq, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

M Hunter, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

COVID-19; Pregnancy; COVID-19 vaccination

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2021;111(6):567-569.

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-04-12
Date published: 2021-04-12

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