PETALING JAYA: The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers who are considering Covid-19 vaccination, says coordinating minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
“Based on Health Ministry advice, Pfizer is suitable for expectant women between 14 and 33 weeks into their pregnancy, ” he said.
Khairy said that the current clinical guidelines are that both Sinovac and AstraZeneca are not advised for pregnant women for the time being.
“As for nursing mothers, data is limited. This is the guideline for now. Whoever is in doubt should consult their doctors, ” he said.
Khairy added that he has directed the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force to coordinate with hospitals and specialists so that those between 14 and 33 weeks’ gestation can be prioritised for the Pfizer vaccine.
According to Health Ministry guidelines, only the Pfizer vaccine is suitable for nursing mothers.
“There is no need to discontinue breastfeeding for any period after vaccination, ” the guidelines said, adding that there was evidence to suggest that breastfed babies may also benefit from the antibodies.
On pregnant women who wish to get a Pfizer shot, the guidelines said that they should consult their doctors.
“Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should talk with their healthcare provider over benefits and risks, ” it said.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines were not recommended for pregnant women or lactating mothers for now.
“It’s not recommended as we need more data to substantiate the use. We follow the recommendations of the vaccine companies, ” he said.
The Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply helpline confirmed that nursing mothers who opted for the AstraZeneca shot could cancel by not showing up on the day.
The helpline representative said that they would then automatically be added back to the queue of people waiting to be inoculated under the national immunisation programme.But mothers who wish to go ahead with AstraZeneca will not be stopped from doing so.
The AstraZeneca vaccination drive, which started on May 5, is an offshoot of the mainstream immunisation programme. It is only offered to people who opt for it.