COVID-19: Experts caution pregnant women, others over vaccine
The Academy of Medicine Specialties has advised pregnant women and other eligible populations to consult their doctors before taking COVID-19 vaccine.
The group in a statement by its Chairman on Scientific Committee, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, on Monday, said it was unfortunate that pregnant and lactating women were not included in the vaccine trials.
“As vaccination becomes available, the Academy of Medicine Specialties believes that both preventing the spread of existing COVID-19 infections and widespread vaccination is essential to control the pandemic and save lives.
“It is especially important that certain eligible patient populations, including pregnant women, consult with their trusted physicians when considering whether to take the vaccine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, various medical bodies urged that pregnant and lactating people to be included in the vaccine trials and research, unfortunately, they were not.
“While a conversation with a clinician may be helpful and is encouraged, it should not be required prior to vaccination as this may cause unnecessary barriers to access. We support additional data collection and research to continue to inform recommendations for these populations,” the statement partly read.
The group said it supports strategies that protect the health and wellbeing of patients and health care professionals.
It added, “Ongoing public health measures such as distancing, masking, hand hygiene, and appropriate personal protective equipment for health care personnel are critical in minimising the spread of existing COVID-19 infection and protecting health care providers around the globe. Vaccination is the key to the prevention of new infections.
“In addition to the above for Nigeria in particular pending the arrival of vaccines, we encourage the use of treatment protocols that have been found to reduce the mortality and morbidity of the disease. These treatments are inexpensive and they are well suited for our environment where cost is a major issue.” Punch