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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MOODLEY, J; NGENE, N C; KHALIQ, O P  and  HUNTER, M. An imperative to offer pregnant and lactating women access to the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2021, vol.111, n.5. ISSN 2078-5135.

In view of the continuing worldwide spread of COVID-19 infection, the increased morbidity and mortality from the disease during pregnancy, and the current efficacy and safety of vaccines in non-pregnant individuals, vaccines should not be withheld from women simply because of pregnancy or lactation. All pregnant women, especially healthcare professionals, should be offered vaccination and counselled about its advantages and disadvantages by their maternity care providers. Complete eradication of COVID-19 infection will be possible if potential niduses of the infection, which may act as sources for future outbreaks, are protected against the pathogen. However, if a hypothetical medication is the only means yet proven of limiting severe compromise to maternal health, access to the medication should be at the pregnant woman's discretion. Shared decision-making requires physicians to actively engage with their patients and share their knowledge about the subject matter.

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