The government has updated coronavirus vaccine advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with allergies following the approval of the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca vaccine today.
Initial advice indicated that the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine – the first injection approved in the UK – was “not recommended” for breastfeeding or pregnant women.
However, revised guidelines released in today’s Downing Street briefing state that the vaccine can now be administered to pregnant and breastfeeding women after discussing the benefits and risks.
Health chiefs say the Oxford vaccine may be taken by pregnant women.
However, use of both flavors should only be considered in pregnancy when the benefits outweigh the potential risks to the mother and fetus.
For people who are allergic to the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, the previous advice “is not permissible for people who are allergic to food, medicines or other vaccines.”
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This has now been revised to say: “Use is only permitted in people with a history of allergic reactions with any of the ingredients.”
Dr. John Wren, CEO of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine could be taken by pregnant women “when the potential benefits outweigh the risks.”
Dr Raine said previous advice did not recommend its use by pregnant and breastfeeding women due to “an initial lack of evidence on a preventive basis.”
“But now that we have reviewed more of the data that became available, the Human Medicines Committee advised that the vaccine could be used during pregnancy when the potential benefits outweighed the risks, after an individual discussion with all women,” she said briefly.
“Since the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine is the same, women should always discuss the benefits and risks of getting the vaccine with a health professional, and come to a decision together based on individual circumstances. It is now also possible to give breastfeeding women a vaccine, subject to that individual discussion.”
The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunization has also revised its previous extremely cautious advice on vaccines for Covid-19, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“ Vaccination with any of the vaccines during pregnancy should be taken into account when the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV2 infection is high and cannot be avoided, or when the woman suffers from underlying conditions that make her at high risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19, and the risks and benefits must also be discussed. Vaccination “.
“Those trying to conceive do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination, and breastfeeding women may be offered vaccination with either vaccine after considering a woman’s clinical need for immunization against COVID-19. Senior UK medical officials agree with this advice.”
Written guidance from MHRA published Wednesday about the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved hours earlier, stated that preliminary animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect adverse effects on pregnancy, fetal development, childbirth, or postpartum growth.
It recommends that the vaccine should be used during pregnancy only when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the mother and fetus.
She said it was not known if the Oxford vaccine was excreted in breast milk.
With regard to pregnancy and breastfeeding, this Oxford / AstraZeneca Patient Information states: “If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you are pregnant, or plan to have a baby, tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
“There is limited data on the use of Covid-19 VaccineAstraZeneca in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will discuss with you whether the vaccine can be given to you.”
Previous advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that people with a combination of food and drug allergies should not be given the Pfizer vaccine.
Dr. Ryan said the mounting evidence from a group of at least 800,000 people in the United Kingdom and possibly 1.5 million people in the United States who got the vaccine “did not raise additional concerns.”
She added that this “gives us more assurance that the risks of anaphylaxis can be managed through standard clinical guidance and a period of at least 15 minutes of post-vaccination monitoring.
That is why the Human Medicines Committee has now advised that anyone with allergies to food or other drugs or a vaccine can get a Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
Of course, it should not be for anyone with a history of allergy to this vaccine or its components.
Meanwhile, the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers said that people should not get the vaccine if they have had any severe allergic reaction to any of its ingredients.
The directions say that “signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin, rashes, shortness of breath, and swelling of the face or tongue.”
Call your doctor or health care professional right away or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have an allergic reaction.
“It could be life-threatening. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.”