Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi has written to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to bring pregnant women into the Covid-19 vaccination ambit citing increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus.
In her letter, Chautvedi, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, said, “In the second wave, pregnant women have been found at an increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 when compared to others.”
She said that the risk of death is 70 per cent higher in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women.
“On May 19, 2021, the central government allowed vaccination of lactating women. However, it kept the decision for pregnant women on hold for further deliberations despite FOGSI and NTAGI strongly recommending their inclusion in the process. Keeping this segment out of the vaccine process will not only endanger their lives but could also lead to complications during child birth and the new born. Hoping he considers this appeal in a humane and considerate manner,” she said.
She also said that every year approximately 2.7 crore pregnancies are recorded, thus keeping this segment out of vaccine process will not only endanger their lives but could also lead to their babies having to suffer the consequences.
She further said that she understands the position, due to lack of clinical trials data on the effect of the Covid–19 vacine on the pregnant mothers. “I also acknowledge that India administers a different set of vaccines other than the mRNA vaccines for which data exists. However, FOGSI is of the opinion that the theoretical benefits of India’s vaccines would outweigh the risk of the disease,” she said.
Chaturvedi also said that most countries have left the option of getting vaccinated with the expectant mother and her doctor. “WHO has also recommended vaccination for pregnant women post establishing a surveillance mechanism to monitor the effects of vaccination,” she said.
The Shiv Sena leader said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, on her appeal had initiated consultations with gynaecologists and health task force after which had given its in-principle nod and drawn up a detailed plan to prioritise bringing expectant and lactating mothers in the vaccine ambit. “However, they are unable to roll it out since they await a final nod from the Centre. I would request you to consider my appeal,” she added.