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People advised to hold off on trying for a baby for a period of time after getting Covid-19 vaccination

Some studies should become available in early 2021 that may change the advice.

Image: Shutterstock

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE advised people to hold off on trying for a baby or undergoing fertility treatments for a period of time after getting the Covid-19 vaccination. 

Speaking at the launch of the government’s vaccine strategy, Dr Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said the clinical trials have been designed to provide as much information as possible about those considered to be most vulnerable to Covid-19.

However when the trials began, it was not clear whether an effective and safe vaccine could be delivered and this is why pregnant women were not included.

“It would just be unethical to do that,” she said.

“Pregnancy is one of those areas where we will need further studies, there are some studies which will be concluded by the end of this year.”

Dr Nolan said when this data becomes available in early 2021 “we may be able to look at pregnancy differently”.

“For the moment the vaccine just shouldn’t be used in pregnant women until we know more,” she said.

“Similarly, in relation to people that are maybe looking at having a baby or undergoing fertility treatments, the advice for the moment would be if you’re going to be vaccinated to wait a period of time and then to progress it [trying for a baby] then.”

In the UK, public health authorities have recommended that people avoid getting pregnancy until at least two months after their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 

Public Health England has said anyone planning to get pregnant in the next three months should delay their vaccination. If pregnancy occurs between the two doses, the second dose should be delayed until after the pregnancy is over. 

Breastfeeding mothers are also advised to wait until they are no longer breastfeeding to get the vaccine. 

Public Health England said this advise is precautionary – the evidence reviewed so far raises no concerns for safety in pregnancy or in relation to breastfeeding. When additional evidence is available to support the use of the vaccine in these circumstances, this advice may change. 

The European Medicines Agency will address the issue when it gives the go-ahead for vaccines in the coming weeks and months. 

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said questions will arise about particular groups such as those going through infertility or people who have specific underlying conditions.

“You can always have recourse to your clinicians, your GPs and the other doctors and nurses who are looking after you will be equipped and in a position to answer these kinds of questions,” he said.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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