Sydney pregnant women struggle to find Pfizer vaccines

“I don’t know if the finite nature of the pregnancy is appreciated: these women will give birth and some may give birth earlier. They need to get the vaccine in a timely manner, ”she said.

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A North Shore GP clinic that recently informed local obstetricians that it was prioritizing Pfizer appointments for pregnant women quickly ran out of reservations after women traveled from as far as Westmead in the west from Sydney for doses.

Several obstetricians and general practitioners told the Herald a possible improvement in the deployment of the vaccine for pregnant women could be its administration in the antenatal units of the hospitals.

As of August 7, a total of 39 pregnant women had tested positive for COVID-19 during the Sydney epidemic, which continues to largely affect people in their twenties in the western suburbs.

RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach said that while the virus was initially considered mild during pregnancy, it was increasingly associated with serious illness.

“Over time, we realized that this resulted in severe respiratory distress, the need for intensive care admission, mechanical ventilation and an increased risk of stillbirth,” he said, noting that recent cases in Sydney had required an early delivery.

This week, the college updated its advice to clarify that women who are trying to conceive can safely receive any available vaccine.

Dr Roach said the recommendation that pregnant women receive an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, was solely based on the availability of data on these vaccines in pregnant women.

“It doesn’t matter if you are trying to get pregnant or breastfeed because you are not pregnant,” said Dr Roach, noting that there was new evidence that breastfeeding women can transfer protective antibodies through. their babies in breast milk.

“There is no evidence that a viral vector vaccine, like AstraZeneca, or an mRNA vaccine affects the sperm or egg or affects early conception.”

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Women who become pregnant after receiving a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine may be given an mRNA vaccine as a second dose.

This came after much confusion among women trying to have a baby or breastfeeding as to which vaccine they should receive, especially after all adults in Greater Sydney were urged to receive the vaccine they could. Reserve.

Anita Vitanova manages the Inner West Mums Facebook group, which has over 26,000 members. The group recently hosted a video question-and-answer session with Dr Roach.

“There was so much confusion and so much inaccurate information that was circulating before,” said Vitanova. The session, which remains available online for the Moms Group public page, has been viewed over 35,000 times.

Last week, people aged 16 to 39 living in Sydney’s 12 Local Government Concern Areas became eligible to make Pfizer appointments at mass vaccination centers.

A summary of RANZCOG COVID-19 vaccination guidelines

  • Pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination and should routinely be offered the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Research has shown that mRNA vaccines (eg Pfizer or Moderna) are safe for pregnant women. There is less data available on the safety of viral vector vaccines (eg AstraZeneca) during pregnancy, hence the current advice from Pfizer or Moderna. This notice is subject to change as more data on AstraZeneca becomes available.
  • Women who are trying to get pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Vaccination is recommended for women who are breastfeeding. You do not need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination. The Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine is considered safe.
  • COVID-19 vaccination can provide indirect protection to babies by transferring antibodies through the placenta (for pregnant women) or through breast milk (for breastfeeding women).

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