Is AstraZeneca safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

AstraZeneca: Professor discusses vaccination of under-30s

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Vaccine programmes have progressed smoothly for the most part, with several countries able to cover more than 50 percent of their vulnerable people. But those relying heavily on the AstraZeneca jab have hit a snag, with mounting reports of blood clots over the last month. Some groups in the vaccine cohorts already have an increased clotting risk, including pregnant women.

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for pregnant women?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is one of the most effective currently on the market, capable of preventing more than 90 percent of Covid cases, and produced in the UK.

As such, the Government has used it to form the backbone of England’s vaccine programme and has fought off what some have deemed “political” decisions from EU countries not to use it.

They have cited a link between the jab and severe blood clotting, which could prove dangerous for pregnant women.

Pregnant women have an accelerated natural risk of clotting, otherwise known as thrombosis, already.

Risks increase following changes in their body as they carry their child.

Increased clotting factor allows the body to limit blood loss during childbirth.

Otherwise, the growing baby may press on pelvic blood vessels, once again increasing the risk.

The dangers persist after pregnancy, as bed rest can decrease blood flow in the arms and legs.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has changed its advice to reflect the AstraZeneca clotting cases.

They now advise expectant mothers to discuss taking the vaccine with their healthcare provider.

Conversations about the jab should focus on “whether the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risk”.

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Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for breastfeeding women?

Dr Jane Leonard, a trained GP who has worked in London through the pandemic, said the vaccine is safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women.

She told “According to a recent study by the The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, COVID-19 vaccines were found to be safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as potentially providing protection for their babies.

“The concerns related to the vaccine is pregnancy is based around the fact that pregnancy itself is a risk factor for developing a blood clot.”

“The concern related to the potential increased risk of blood clots with the AZ vaccine however it is very important that based on 79 reported cases of thromboemobolic events (blood clots) associated with the vaccine According to a recent study by the MRHA still support the use of the vaccine because the risk of the rare event of a blood clot is greatly outweighed by protection against covid the vaccine gives.”

She added women should speak with their healthcare provider about any potential individual risks.

Dr Leonard added: “Pregnant women should speak in depth with their doctor to review their medical and family history (regarding risk of blood clots ) before going ahead.

“As the covid vaccine new we do not have anretrospective data of the long term effects of the vaccine so it hard for medical professionals to comment on this.”

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