This Wednesday, July 21, the Colombian Ministry of Health confirmed the arrival of a new batch with 308,880 vaccines from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which were reached through the bilateral agreement with this US company.
As reported by the Health portfolio, these biologics against covid-19 will be used to intensify the vaccination of pregnant women in the country through the National Vaccination Plan and for the application of the second doses of citizens who received the first of this biological.
“This weekend we are going to have a day of immunization of pregnant women”, said the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Provision of Services, Luis Alexander Moscoso, who explained that from Friday the 23rd to Sunday the 25th of July a ‘Vaccination’ will be carried out focused on the vaccination of these women who are pregnant.
With this new batch of Pfizer vaccines, 31,871,324 doses against covid-19 are completed by the different pharmaceutical companies that have made an agreement to advance the immunization process in the country, which completed 24,000,509 doses applied and 10,556,284 schemes this Tuesday complete vaccination programs.
Similarly, Deputy Minister Moscoso reminded pregnant women that they should only approach the vaccination points with the informed consent and identity document, if they are between the 12th week of gestation until the 40th day after delivery.
For this reason, the vice minister called on pregnant women and territorial entities so that this weekend they give priority to vaccination and in this way, progress will continue in the National Vaccination Plan, which is one third of the purpose compared to immunization in the country.
For its part, the Ministry of Health confirmed that on July 20, the day on which the Independence of Colombia was commemorated, 167,937 doses were applied, of which 45,071 belonged to the second dose and 35,231 are part of the single doses.
On July 16, Minister Fernando Ruiz Gómez confirmed that on the weekend of July 23, 24 and 25, vaccination days for pregnant women throughout the national territory will be held.
For this reason, Dr. Nancy Yomayusa, specialist in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation and part of the Global Institute of Clinical Excellence of Keralty, and Dr. Mauricio Herrera, specialist in Gynecology, Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine and National Head of the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine-Obstetrics of the Colsanitas Clinic, answered ten questions about what pregnant women should know and take into account for this process.
1. Are pregnant women at a higher risk of getting sick from covid-19?
Pregnant women and those who have recently been pregnant have the same risk of becoming infected with SARS CoV-2 compared to non-pregnant women. However, they have an increased possibility of presenting a serious illness that requires hospitalization and even management in intensive care units with the risk of complications and death.
In addition, evidence has shown that in pregnant women who have suffered from covid-19 there is an increased risk of premature delivery, failure of the placenta and other situations that can complicate pregnancy. There are some medical conditions in addition to pregnancy that can generate a greater risk of severity in the infection, such as diabetes, diseases of the immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, overweight and obesity.
2. Are the SARS CoV-2 vaccines safe during pregnancy?
Although pregnant women were not included in the initial studies of covid vaccines, they already exist registered data of more than 130,000 pregnant women vaccinated mainly with mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, with no documented safety issues or major side events.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that in mRNA-based vaccines, the calculated proportions of adverse events associated with pregnancy in vaccinated people were similar to those reported in studies conducted in pregnant populations prior to the covid-19 pandemic.
The specialists assured that the vaccines They do not contain ingredients known to be harmful to pregnant women or a developing baby. In addition, the researchers of the initial studies are collecting and analyzing the evolution of the people who received the vaccine and became pregnant. At this time, it is necessary to strengthen the clinical studies that analyze how well they work in pregnant women, their effects and safety.
3. In Colombia was any special vaccine authorized to be applied to pregnant women?
The National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima), after analyzing the available evidence, considers that, although the data are still limited, the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women can be considered from the twelfth (12) week of pregnancy or during the 40 days postpartum.
4. Can the Pfizer vaccine cause disease and affect the genetic material of pregnant women or their babies?
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is based on genetic material or mRNA, therefore it does not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause disease in the mother or fetus. Likewise, it is important to bear in mind that mRNA vaccines do not interact with a person’s DNA and therefore cannot alter or change the genetic material because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where the DNA is stored. .
5. Can the Pfizer vaccine cause side effects?
All vaccines can cause side effects, most of them mild, but there is no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to have side effects other than non-pregnant people after vaccination with mRNA vaccines.
It is important to note that present the same side effects as in the general population without this having shown problems for pregnancy. If any symptoms occur, they should be consulted with their doctor or health system to follow them up.
Likewise, if there is a history of an allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable therapy (intramuscular, intravenous or subcutaneous), the case should be discussed with the treating physician to clarify doubts and guide the recommendations.