Midwives and obstetricians encourage COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

17 August 2021

A joint statement from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and The Australian College of Midwives (ACM)

The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) urge all jurisdictions, and practitioners, to heed the advice issued by RANZCOG and ATAGI which recommends that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy.

Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of vaccine-induced antibodies in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

Pregnant women are now eligible for the vaccine. “We want to reassure pregnant women that COVID vaccines are safe and effective. The risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. It’s critical that pregnant women, their midwives and doctors, are aware of this clear advice, and that pregnant women have access to a vaccine,” said Dr Vijay Roach, RANZCOG President.

ACM President Professor Joanne Gray said that midwives play a central, and vital, role in providing advice to pregnant women in communities across Australia.

“Midwives are a trusted source of information for pregnant women,” Professor Gray said. “We understand that pregnancy is a time of heightened anxiety and vulnerability and we encourage all pregnant women to talk to their midwife about COVID vaccination at any stage of pregnancy.

“The scientific data are reassuring and vaccination dramatically reduces the risk of infection, hospitalisation, ventilation and death.”

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Victoria Forrest
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Andre Khoury
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