Yes, it is best for pregnant and breastfeeding women to wait

Fatimah Abdullah. Photo: Ummi Munirah

KUCHING: It is best for pregnant and breastfeeding women to follow the advice of experts to wait until there is clear data on the use of the Covid-19 vaccine, said Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

The Minister of Welfare, Community, Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development said in the meantime, it was important for other members of the public to be vaccinated. 

“Husbands, parents, and in-laws of pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding and the rest of us, let’s volunteer to be vaccinated.

“In this way, we can protect ourselves from the virus but also help to protect members of our family who are pregnant and women who are breastfeeding,” she said.

Fatimah was commenting on Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Medical Microbiology lecturer Associate Professor Dr Niazlin Mohd Taib’s statement advising pregnant and breastfeeding to defer taking the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to avoid any possible side effects.

Dr Niazlin pointed out there was currently no clinical evidence to support the use of the vaccine among the group.

“Pregnant mothers should not take a live virus vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine that does not use the live virus.

“Although there should be no problem for pregnant and breastfeeding women to get the vaccine since it is an mRNA vaccine, there is no clear data (on the use of the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy) including from Pfizer itself…it would be better to wait first.”