Ministry notes rise in covid infection in pregnant women

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Adesh Sirjusingh, Director of Women’s Health. –

DIRECTOR of Women’s Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr Adesh Sirjusingh, says there has been a significant increase this year in the number of covid19 cases in pregnant women.

Speaking during the ministry’s press conference on Wednesday, he said there were 823 cases since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, with 58 cases for that year, and 765 since January.

He said that from January to June, there were 303 cases. In July, there were 75; 126 in August; 161 in September; and 100 in October.

He said since the end of June, breastfeeding women have been approved – by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the national immunisation technical advisory groups – to receive the Sinopharm vaccine.

On August 25, the Pfizer vaccine was approved to be administered to women in their second trimester of pregnancy and above and on September 8 breastfeeding women were also approved to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

“We just had a national immunisation technical advisory meeting and the Chief Medical Officer advised of a particular circumstance where some women are coming into pregnancy having received one dose of the Sinopharm vaccine and we have just approved that these women can now take two doses of the Pfizer schedule from the second trimester and beyond.”

He warned that pregnant women are at risk increased of having long covid19 and data from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has shown that 70 per cent of pregnant women are at increased risk of death and only 31 per cent of pregnant women in that country have been vaccinated.

Sirjusingh also said there have been no recent developments in relation to concerns about menstrual disturbances after having received a covid19 vaccine. “The data remains unchanged,” he said.

In the UK, said Sirjusingh, there were 30,000 reports of women with menstrual disorders compared to 47 million doses of the vaccine being administered.

“That’s six in 10,000…The have done rigorous evaluations which do not support a link between menstrual changes and the vaccines.”

He said the data revealed the number of reports is low in relation to the number of people who have received the vaccine. He also said there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine affects fertility or the ability to have children.