By Victor Emeruwa/Ibadan
Early results from some scientific studies have shown that unborn children may have developed antibodies to the COVID-19 virus making COVID vaccination safe for pregnant women, the head of the department of Virology at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital (UCH), Prof. Georgina Odaibo has said.
The erudite professor said recent scientific findings have put to rest concerns over the effects of the vaccine on pregnant women stating that it is safe both for mother and the unborn child. “There were concerns if pregnant women were to take the COVID vaccine because there is life in the pregnant woman, so you want to know what will happen to the child in the pregnant woman, it is important to know that the vaccine is not harmful to the pregnant woman. I can say from the information we have, the COVID 19 vaccine is safe for pregnant women,” Odaibo said.
She said scientific studies show that unborn children of women who have received the vaccines were born with antibodies that protect them from the virus. “There is information that some children who have been born from mothers who were infected with COVID 19 and had received the vaccine have antibodies, so that is why there is this school of thought that suggests that pregnant women who are infected with COVID 19 should take the vaccine so that their children can have the antibodies and immunity against the virus,” Odaibo said.
But although the vaccine is confirmed safe for pregnant women, she said there is need for further study to determine the effect of the vaccine on the unborn child but early reports are showing signs of antibodies in the unborn child: “We know that COVID 19 in pregnant women is severe, it is very severe, so it is advisable that the pregnant woman take the vaccine, although it is not hundred percent but because pregnant women with COVID 19 infection are at higher risk especially when the pregnancy is in the third trimester, there is need to save the life of the woman and the child in the womb.
“So there is a school of thought that suggest that the pregnant woman should take the vaccine before the pregnancy gets to the third trimester. So far, there is no report that suggests that the vaccine is harmful to pregnant women, we have not had any cause for concern.
“For children, 12 years above can take the vaccine from what is available in the science community, but from six months to 12 years we have to determine what dosage will be appropriate,” said Odaibo.