Pregnant women are now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

23 July 2021

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) welcomes the announcement from the Australian Government that pregnant women are now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday 9 June, in line with the advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, RANZCOG and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) issued the following advice:

RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. 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 antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity. Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

Advice previously issued in December 2020 was in the setting of low community transmission. Unfortunately, that situation has changed, as we have witnessed over the last couple of months across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. For that reason, RANZCOG believes that it is critical that pregnant women have access to vaccination.

RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach said: "We recognise that these decisions are complex, which is why we have worked closely with the Government, and we are pleased that they have responded to the medical advice. Pregnant women should be considered a vulnerable group. We don’t want to see any pregnant woman severely ill, or in the ICU, as a result of this disease. While vaccination doesn’t eliminate the risk, it reduces it considerably and we are confident in our advice that the Pfizer vaccination is safe for pregnant women and their babies."

All pregnant women considering vaccination should discuss their particular circumstances with their obstetrician, GP or midwife.

For media enquiries

Andre Khoury
Head of Communications and Public Affairs
t 61 3 9114 3923   m +61 448 735 749
[email protected]



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