Even as vaccines are being rolled out in India in phases, gynaecologists and fertility experts in India have urged people to delay planning a pregnancy until two months after they get the vaccine against Covid-19.
This comes a day after the World Health Organisation recommended against the use of the vaccine during pregnancy except in those at high risk of exposure or having a severe case. However, the WHO said it doesn’t recommend pregnancy testing before vaccination, nor does it recommend delaying pregnancy following vaccination. However, he stated that lactating women be offered the vaccines, saying that the shots are unlikely to pose a risk to breastfeeding children.
Talking to The New Indian Express, Dr Suman Singh, a gynaecologist from BirthRight by Rainbow Children’s Hospitals, however, did not recommend not to get vaccinated but instead said that couples should delay planning a child for at least two months after getting vaccine doses.
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) had reaffirmed its earlier guidance for safe Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) practices.
Meanwhile, the Centre has also confirmed that pregnant and lactating women have not been part of any Covid vaccine clinical trial so far and were of the opinion that they should not receive the vaccine at this time.
Stating that there is no long-term safety data on the Covid vaccine for pregnancy, the health experts have suggested that it is the safest to avoid pregnancy for up to eight weeks after vaccination as some vaccines containing live virus can potentially harm the foetus and damage its vision and hearing ability.
Though both Covishield and Covaxin are inactive vaccines (which use dead virus), it is inadvisable to take them while pregnant experts say.