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Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine

What are the risks for pregnant women associated with the COVID-19 vaccine? A response for each circumstance.

Pregnant women can be vaccinated against COVID-19, but each expectant mother should be assessed individually.

The team at Hôpital de La Tour have extensive experience in vaccinating pregnant women. Vaccinations not only protect the expectant mother from illnesses, but they also provide the baby with passive immunity from the mother. While vaccinating against COVID-19 may be dependent on decisions made outside of the hospital environment, pregnant women can still be provided with medical advice and support. 

Pregnancy is a risk
In the current health climate, pregnant women are considered to be at risk. As well as carrying the same risk of catching COVID-19 as the rest of the population, they are at a higher risk of developing a more serious infection. 

The risk factors linked to catching COVID-19 are the same for expectant mothers as for the rest of the population – obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions. 

Bespoke care for pregnant women
The Maternity Unit and the Maternal-Foetal Medical Center at Hôpital de La Tour provide diagnostic consultation and guidance for women. Dre Agnès Ditisheim, a specialist in maternal medicine and a member of the Swiss Medical Association (FMH), explains that, “At the moment, the decision to vaccinate a pregnant woman against COVID-19 is made on a case-by-case basis, and is taken after evaluating the risks and other information with the patient.” Through access to a large number of healthcare departments, the Hôpital de La Tour maternity unit is able to offer multidisciplinary care.

A vaccination program created according to the priorities established by the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) has already been rolled out for Hôpital de La Tour medical and care teams, with the aim of protecting patients as effectively as possible.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infection
A generalized approach to the vaccination of pregnant women against COVID-19 is not recommended due to a lack of sufficient data. However, the mRNA vaccines approved in Switzerland are not replicative and do not contain live virus, so they cannot cause infection. This means that the risk of the vaccine causing complications during pregnancy is low enough that it can be offered to pregnant women. Futhermore, recently pregnant women with a vulnerability factor have now the priority for vaccination.