St George Hospital doctor among first pregnant women to receive COVID-19 vaccine
Nearing the end of the second trimester of her first pregnancy, Dr Amy Manos, a medical administration registrar at St George Hospital, was excited to receive her first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, following a change to health advice last month.
“As soon as I heard the news, I spoke with my managers who helped me to book into the St George Hospital Vaccination Hub,” Dr Manos said.
On 9 June, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) issued a joint recommendation that women planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding be offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The recommendation outlined that global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy.
Furthermore, the updated advice was due to the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 being significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.
“As a pregnant woman, I’m aware I have reduced immunity. Although the risk of contracting COVID-19 in our community is relatively low, I was eager to be vaccinated to do everything I can to protect myself – as well as my unborn baby – from developing a serious illness,” Dr Manos said.
“I was also motivated as the updated advice stated that there is evidence of antibody in cord blood and breast milk, which may offer protection to my baby through passive immunity.
“As a healthcare worker, I’m really proud to lead by example, and hope that other women in any stage of pregnancy take up the opportunity to get vaccinated.
“I felt comforted following advice from RANZOG and ATAGI, as I know they are trustworthy organisations who collect evidence from expert sources,” Dr Manos said.
Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional.
For more information, please visit Australian Government Department of Health.