Pregnant women in Saudi Arabia can now register to take the coronavirus vaccine, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health announced on Sunday.
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“The Ministry of Health announces the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women, based on the recommendations of the Specialized Scientific Committee,” the ministry said on its official Twitter account.
“Furthermore, studies indicate that there is no harm to the pregnant woman or the fetus. However, if she happens to catch an infection from the virus, this can cause severe complications, threatening the pregnancy,” the ministry added.
The announcement comes days after one of the largest reports on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy published evidence that the dose is safe for pregnant women.
The preliminary results are based on reports from over 35,000 women in the United States who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine also separately endorsed COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women based on evidence it has been evaluating for over a year.
‘‘Everyone, including pregnant women and those seeking to become pregnant, should get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective,’’ the society said in a statement.
Last week, Dubai expanded the eligibility criteria for the mRNA Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include women who are breastfeeding and those planning to get pregnant.
“Clinical studies show that the mRNA vaccine is safe for women who are breastfeeding or planning to conceive unless the patient has certain medical contraindications to vaccines or any vaccine component,” Dr. Muna Tahlak, CEO of Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, was quoted as saying.
Coronavirus vaccines are available for citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia in over 500 different inoculation centers around the Kingdom.
So far, more than 8 million people have received the vaccine in the country.