Ayesha Yousfzai

Deluge of rumors regarding Covid-19 vaccines on social media created many apprehensions among pregnant women about the vaccine impact on health of fetus.

They were particularly worried about disability or abnormality among the children caused by the vaccine.

In Indian state of Uttar Pardesh, opposition Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav claimed that COVID-19 vaccine can make people impotent.

“It can make you impotent or affect your progeny, anything could happen,” Mr Yadav said on January 28, 2021.

Earlier the same politician had voiced concerns over the vaccine and termed them as ruling Bahrtia Janata Party’s vaccines.

Umme Kulsoom, an Islamabad based researcher with the Hum News told TNN she was married at the peak of Covid-19 in April 2020 and during the same period she contracted the virus as well.

She became pregnant during the second wave of the Covid-19; however, then vaccines were not available for general public.

She said that everyone tried to stop her from getting vaccinated saying that the vaccination will either lead to a miscarriage or her child would be born handicapped.

“In this situation, I decided of not getting vaccinated for Covid-19,” Ms Kulsoom said.

Another friend told me that immune system gets stronger during pregnancy. However, she said that during the third wave, she started thinking about getting vaccinated after media started reporting about re-infection of those who have already recovered from virus.

“Then I started getting worried about getting re-infected and its impact on my pregnancy,” he said.

Ms Kulsoom said that during the same days, special assistant to Prime Minister on health Dr Faisal Sultan told a presser about death of two pregnant women, who were un-vaccinated, due to Covid-19.  Therefore, Dr Sultan said that pregnant women should vaccinate themselves.

However, at the same time Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rasheed said that pregnant women get vaccinated on their own risk.

“I was second trimester of my pregnancy and really confused about getting vaccinated,” Ms Kulsoom said.

However, she said during a routine check up in the seventh month pregnancy, her doctor asked about vaccination status. When Ms Kulsoom told her that she was not vaccinating herself due to the fears regarding her baby, the doctor told her to go for vaccination as it was completely safe.

She said that she received her first dose of SinoVac from a Bara Kahu health facility. She later gave birth to a healthy baby girl in a normal delivery.

Dr Ansar Khalil, a doctor at the Lady Reading Hospital said that there were two different types of Covid-19 vaccines have been developed by different companies. He said that no ill-effects of COvid-19 vaccines on pregnancy has been documented.

Besides, Dr Khalil said that the WHO has also stressed on vaccination of pregnant women against the COvid-19.

Besides, those coming to hospital should have vaccination certificates to eligible for admission.

He said that all the patients in hospital gynecology ward have been vaccinated; however, there were still some fears lurked in people minds about vaccines safety.

He said that at the same time many people have become aware about vaccine safety. In addition to this, British and American surveys have declared vaccine as good for pregnant women and 200,000 women have received Pfizer vaccine.

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