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  • DOH: Benefits Outweigh The Risk Of COVID-19 Vaccine For Pregnant, Breastfeeding Moms

    Experts agree that it is important for vulnerable individuals to get protection from the disease.
    by Kitty Elicay .
DOH: Benefits Outweigh The Risk Of COVID-19 Vaccine For Pregnant, Breastfeeding Moms
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Marina Demidiuk
  • The Department of Health (DOH) recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding women, especially those who happen to be healthcare workers.

    “The evidence is still, benefits outweigh the risk,” says Dr. Beverly Ho, DOH Director for Health Promotion and Communication Service and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, in an exclusive interview called Sandwich Sessions with SmartParenting.com.ph and other Summit Media editors.

    She adds that while efficacy rates vary depending on the vaccine, it is safe to get inoculated and get protection from the disease.

    “The vaccines can protect you from asymptomatic/mild infection but can also prevent moderate to severe infection. So, ‘yung efficacy rate niya for asymptomatic or mild infections, it's not always 100 percent,” Dr. Ho says.

    When combined with minimum public health standards (MPHS), that decrease in efficacy can be neutralized, especially now that the coronavirus has evolved, and variants have appeared in the country.

    “Alam natin that all vaccines that have gotten EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) are still fulfilling phase 3 trials. So, they're continuously getting data from other countries na may variants.

    “What we're seeing so far, at least for the known variants, the vaccines that are present in the market are still effective. If ever may kaunting decrease in efficacy but [with] minimum health standards, when you combine it with the vaccine, [it] should be able to neutralize that effect. We'll still get the protection as long as you do MPHS plus vaccines,” says Dr. Ho.

    This recommendation supports earlier statements made by the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) and the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) on COVID vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women.

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    “All COVID vaccines may be offered to breastfeeding women after consultation with their physicians and after shared decision making. Breastfeeding women who are classified to be in the high-risk group are recommended to receive the vaccine,” according to PPS.

    “We reiterate that breastfeeding women should not be withheld from receiving COVID-19 vaccines who otherwise meet criteria for vaccination. There is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue breastfeeding in patients who receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” it added.

    The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have previously said that it is safe for pregnant women to be inoculated with the vaccine.

    A small study conducted in the U.S. also showed that breastfeeding mothers vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to pass on COVID-19 antibodies through breast milk.

    Moderna is starting to test the COVID-19 vaccine on kids ages 6 months to under 12 years old. Click here for the story.

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