Discuss with doctors first

Dr Siti Fairousz Ibrahim

KUCHING: Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to discuss with their doctors whether they should take the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, said Dr Siti Fairousz Ibrahim, a medical microbiologist of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) had highly recommended breastfeeding women from the high-risk groups like frontliners to take the vaccine, she said pregnant women should get their doctors’ opinions on the pros and cons before taking the jab.

“I will tell pregnant women among the frontliners to go for  alternative duties or assignments that will not expose them to Covid-19 patients if that  is possible.

“Pregnant women are not really advised to get the vaccine even if they are frontliners,” she told New Sarawak Tribune when asked to comment if pregnant women from frontliners groups should take the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today.

Asked about the any possible side effects of the vaccine on pregnant women, Dr Siti explained it would be best to take precautionary measures although the DNA of the vaccines were found safe.

She said what Dr Niazlin Mohd Taib said about pregnant women and Covid-19 vaccine in Bernama on Monday was true.

“I agree that attenuated live virus vaccine should best be avoided by pregnant women although the subunit and DNA/RNA vaccines are generally safe.

“I think only when there is enough data from the clinical trials on the safety of this vaccine can we re-consider this vaccine on pregnant women. At the meantime, we have to be cautious with new vaccines,” she added.