Vaccines okay for pregnant women — Pfizer, Sinovac, Astrazeneca

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines currently in use in Malaysia are suitable for pregnant women based on the Health Ministry’s updated guidelines.

Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine remained recommended while the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines have been classified as suitable for the group.

“AstraZeneca is no longer contraindicated in pregnancy and Sinovac is recommended by the World Health Organisation’s interim report for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers as the benefits outweigh the potential risks,” he said in a news conference after a visit to the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) vaccination centre (PPV) here, today.

Khairy said a total of 109,607 pregnant women have registered for Covid-19 vaccination via the MySejahtera application so far.

Of the total, 11,663 women were expected to give birth in August and the group would be given the priority for vaccination, he said adding that about 10,000 pregnant mothers have received their appointment dates.

Khairy said about 6,000 expectant mothers were scheduled to be vaccinated at the MITEC and Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre PPVs this weekend.

Pregnant women remain the high-priority recipients for the vaccination based on the risk of Covid-19 infection for the group, he added.

On industry, Khairy, who is also the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said a total of four industrial PPVs were currently operating while 19 others would begin operations by the end of this month.

The industrial PPV for the oil and gas sector in Kerteh, Terengganu will start operating on July 1 and the Eastern Steel industrial PPV in Kemaman will begin operation on July 2.

The vaccination programme for the economic sector would be expanded to cover other industries soon, he added.

Meanwhile, Khairy said careful planning was being done to avoid a shortage of vaccine supply at PPVs.

He admitted that some PPVs had run out of vaccine stocks due to high utilisation rates.

“We will receive more supply in July, so we hope this will not happen again. We have over eight million doses and seven million have been utilised while one million doses are being distributed,” he said.

In a related development, Khairy said 99 per cent of senior citizens in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (88 per cent) have either been vaccinated or have received an appointment date. – Bernama