Pregnant women are now included in the list of priority groups for the government’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
The DOH said that pregnant women are now part of the expanded A3 priority group. Initially, the A3 group only covers individuals with comorbidities.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women as she cited recommendations from local health experts.
“We will be revising our existing guidelines for pregnant women based on these recommendations and to indicate that they are now part of Expanded A3,” said Vergeire in a statement on Thursday, Aug. 12.
Vergeire said that COVID-19 vaccines are “generally safe for pregnant women and getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is actively recommended during the second or third trimester.”
“High risk pregnant women in their first trimester may also be vaccinated provided that benefit and risks have been fully explained and upon securing medical clearance from their doctor,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Russian-made vaccine, Sputnik V, is the only vaccine that should not be administered to pregnant women, said Vergeire.
“Currently, most of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the country are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The only vaccine that should not be given to pregnant women is with Gamaleya’s Sputnik V,” she said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 11, saying that it is recommending COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women.
“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”