The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidance on the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, including worrying advice that pregnant women should not get the jab unless they are at high risk of exposure.
The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization issued a series of recommendations on the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, advising that pregnant women should not take the shot unless they are health workers or at particularly high risk of exposure.
“While pregnancy puts women at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, the use of this vaccine in pregnant women is currently not recommended,” SAGE wrote.
WHO director of immunisation Kate O’Brien said that clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine were needed on pregnant women.
The report also stressed that the vaccine should be administered in two doses with an interval of 28 days between each shot, with the possibility of extending this interval up to 42 days if necessary.
The SAGE report also emphasised the need for the vaccine to be administered in facilities where treatments for allergic reactions are readily available. The group of experts issued guidance on the rival Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine several weeks ago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and the Independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said that there was insufficient evidence to suggest the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were suitable or not for pregnant women, as neither contains the virus itself and they therefore cannot cause Covid-19 but insufficient data was available to make a call.
The latest guidance from Public Health England supports this position, stating that, “The early Covid-19 vaccines do not contain organisms that can multiply in the body, so they cannot infect an unborn baby in the womb.”