Those who are Pregnant:
In trials of Indian vaccines, pregnant and lactating mothers were not included, therefore there is no local evidence to support,or, say no to vaccination during pregnancy. This holds true for both covishield and covaxin.
On this basis, that pregnant women were not included in the trial, manufacturers have not recommended administration of vaccine during pregnancy.
However, there has been a huge trial in US, in which COVID -19 vaccines were given to pregnant healthcare and frontline workers and minimal side effects were noted. Following this, In UK and US, COVID 19 vaccine has been recommended for use in pregnant women.
Following these trends, the largest Indian body of Obstetricians, FOGSI has also issued a policy statement which recommends vaccination in pregnant women. This is based on the fact that the obvious benefits of COVID vaccine far outweigh the risks if any.
Those who are planning pregnancy – Naturally or through IVF
Vaccine is recommended for everyone who is planning to become pregnant. It is recommended to take
the vaccine prior to commencing and IVF treatment.
Whether one should commence IVF treatment during COVID times?
One should decide how important and urgent it is to conceive and decide on the basis of his/her individual situation.
In some cases, it may be prudent to continue trying to become pregnant without any delay. Examples would be advanced maternal age, low ovarian reserve, low AMH level, low antral follicle count, aggressive endometriosis, undergoing chemo or radiotherapy and many such other medical conditions.
In such conditions, it might be necessary to do IVF and collect the oocytes, fertilize them with sperms and then cryopreserve the embryos so that fertility can be preserved and embryo transfer done in subsequent cycles.
Those who are breastfeeding
Recently data has emerged which shows that lactating mothers should be vaccinated. Vaccination against COVID 19 is absolutely safe for the baby and in fact there is evidence suggesting transference of protective antibodies to the baby through breast milk.
Important points to remember
Vaccine does not cause infertility
It is true that Vaccines do not give 100 % protection, but more importantly, they definitely reduce the chances of getting infection and also reduce the severity and complications associated with COVID 19 infection. So it is strongly advisable to take the covid-19 vaccine.
The views in this article has been expressed by Dr. Gajendra Singh Tomar, who is a leading IVF and Infertility Specialist at Indore Infertility Clinic, Indore, India. He strongly believes in the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine and prudently advocates all his patients to get vaccinated as soon as they can.