WWRC raises Covid-19 vaccination awareness among pregnant and breastfeeding women

  • 4 months   ago
Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) has initiated awareness and counselling sessions to promote COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The sessions are also open for women intend to get pregnant, with the aim to support them to make informed decisions based on accurate and evidence-based information before they receive the vaccine.
These educational sessions, being conducted by both physical and virtual sessions, offer counselling about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination, risks, answers common questions frequently asked and the importance of getting vaccinated in order to ensure women and their babies are adequately protected against the virus. 
The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar on their website emphasize that the approval of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, with widespread uptake throughout the population, is the best hope of ending this pandemic and of life returning to normal.
The physical counselling sessions are held on weekdays in two designated places within the hospital’s Outpatient Department on the first floor. While the virtual counselling is conducted via a hotline number, 3343 8436, Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 2pm to answer any  queries about COVID-19 vaccine. 
“This is all in addition to virtual webinar sessions which will start in few days,” said Dr. Gamal Ahmed a senior consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, who also lead these sessions.
Dr. Ahmed said that in Qatar the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna are the two vaccines that will be offered to the pregnant and breastfeeding women. He added that in the US, over 100,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and no notable safety concerns have been identified. 
“This is reassuring to the pregnant and breastfeeding women who are considering taking the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Ahmed.
Speaking about this initiative, Dr. Najat Al Khenyab, Deputy medical director and National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies, states that it was in line with the updated recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO). “The WHO new guidance states that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with women of childbearing age who are not pregnant, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth,” she said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in the UK have also updated their advice very recently, and the current advice is that all pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population’. The same advice applies for breastfeeding women, she adds.
Dr Salwa Abu Yaqoub, Chair of Obstetrics in WWRC, says that there are numerous benefits of vaccination on pregnancy and breast feeding and these include, reducing the risk of acquiring the disease; reducing the risk of having a severe illness while pregnant requiring hospitalization or intensive care; reducing the death risk from the disease; reducing the risk of having a preterm baby; reducing the risk of transmission of infection to other household members; passing the newly gained immunity to the baby.
The vaccination awareness team in WWRC emphasizes that women (even if they take the vaccine) - just like the rest of the public - should continue to observe precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection, including wearing a face mask, maintaining social distancing, and washing hands frequently with soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand rub. It is also important to comply with the regulations regards easing of restrictions’ published by MoPH.

Source: QNA