A government advisory committee has advised against pregnant women having the new coronavirus jab because there is not enough data on its safety for that demographic.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom became the first Western country to approve a vaccine, developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, for the Chinese coronavirus. The first rollout of jabs is expected next week, with healthcare staff and care home residents being prioritised.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it would be administered in two doses, 21 days apart, with immunity after a week of the second dose.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises health departments in the UK on immunisation, said in a briefing document published on the government’s website on Wednesday that pregnant women or women planning for pregnancy should not take the vaccine due to a lack of data to test its safety for them.
The JCVI said in a government-published report: “There are no data as yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy, either from human or animal studies. Given the lack of evidence, JCVI favours a precautionary approach, and does not currently advise COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
“Women should be advised not to come forward for vaccination if they may be pregnant or are planning a pregnancy within three months of the first dose.
“Data are anticipated which will inform discussions on vaccination in pregnancy. JCVI will review these as soon as they become available.”
The committee also advised “that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination” because “there are very limited data on vaccination in adolescents, with no data on vaccination in younger children, at this time.”
Pregnant women, children, and healthy younger people, however, do not represent a current priority for distribution of the vaccine.
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