Short Report

Perspectives on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women in South Africa

Mehreen Hunter, Jagidesa Moodley, Neil Moran
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a2998 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.2998 | © 2021 Mehreen Hunter, Jagidesa Moodley, Neil Moran | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2021 | Published: 27 July 2021

About the author(s)

Mehreen Hunter, Western Cape Department of Health, Cape Town, South Africa; and, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Division of Public Health Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Jagidesa Moodley, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Neil Moran, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic that has created a global health crisis and upended conventional methodologies, both in the governance and clinical structures of Health Care Systems. The spread of COVID-19 has necessitated a coordinated public health response in an effective, extensive and expedited vaccination rollout strategy with the ultimate aim of limiting all nidi of infection for the pathogen. For this goal to be realised, pregnant women, as a cohort, cannot reasonably be excluded from this initiative, despite the initial reluctance to include them in clinical trials for various ethical and legal reasons. Weighing the detrimental complications of COVID-19 on maternal and perinatal outcomes against the hypothetical risk of vaccination in the context of promising, albeit indirect, safety and efficacy data, this report argues that all pregnant women should be offered the choice of whether or not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine based on the available evidence and their individualised risk-benefit ratio.

Keywords

COVID-19; vaccination; pregnancy; arguments; women

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