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Spain updates its Covid guidelines to vaccinate pregnant and lactating women

Spain updates its Covid guidelines to vaccinate pregnant and lactating women
The Spanish Health Ministry has recommended pregnant and lactating women be vaccinated against Covid, saying that despite there being no clinical trials among expecting mothers, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are safe.

Updates to Spain’s Vaccination Strategy against Covid-19 were announced on Thursday. The inclusion of pregnant and lactating women was submitted by the country’s Health Ministry and discussed with local authorities, and the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been approved.

Although clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines did not include pregnant women, the available data, mainly from the use of vaccines in the US, does not indicate any adverse effects regarding pregnancy,” the official document regarding vaccination says. It cites studies and recommendations from the US, UK, and Belgium, saying that pregnant women should be offered Covid shots at the same time as the rest of population, as no “increased risks” have been detected.

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Although there had been concerns that expecting mothers might be at greater risk of contracting the deadly virus, Spanish health officials did not include them in priority groups for vaccination. They said that “in general, no greater risk of severe Covid-19 due to being pregnant has been detected.” Pregnant women should not be deprived of coronavirus vaccination as it might also provide additional protection for newborns, some doctors believe. The recent go-ahead is “good news for mothers, but also for babies because they are going to be born with antibodies or receive them through breast milk,” the head of the preventive medicine service at a Barcelona clinic, Antoni Trilla, told El Pais. 

US health officials have encouraged pregnant women to receive Covid-19 shots since late April. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had no safety concerns for mothers-to-be or their babies, as “pregnant people experienced the same side effects as others following vaccination” with the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech shots. Manufacturers of the latter have been conducting an international study into the safety and effectiveness of their vaccine in pregnant women since February. At least 4,000 volunteers from nine countries, including Spain, are said to have submitted for the test.

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