Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 when pregnant lets new mother have peace of mind

Ms Suzanna Tang, 28, with her husband, two-year-old son and newborn. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MS SUZANNA TANG

SINGAPORE - When she was 30 weeks pregnant, Ms Suzanna Tang decided to go for her Covid-19 vaccine shots as she was worried that getting infected could complicate her labour.

The 28-year-old was hesitant at first as she had come across differing opinions about the vaccine online.

"I did my own research - I read about studies being done and they put my mind at ease. I decided that the pros outweighed the cons, as pregnant women who are not vaccinated are at a higher risk of developing pregnancy complications if they get Covid-19," she told The Straits Times.

"I didn't want to be separated from my newborn after giving birth."

Ms Tang, who is the founder of Urban Origins, a start-up that promotes local sustainable food brands, received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in early June at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital. She got her second dose in July.

Over 85 per cent of pregnant women who are hospitalised due to Covid-19 infection are not fully vaccinated, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 29).

Of these women, about 20 per cent experienced severe symptoms and required oxygen, while 10 per cent required high dependency and ICU (intensive care unit) care.

None of the vaccinated pregnant women has needed oxygen or ICU care to date.

"The Covid-19 vaccine protects pregnant women and their babies. So please get vaccinated," he said.

Ms Tang gave birth to her second child, a son, last month, when daily Covid-19 cases in Singapore started to rise.

"I'm relieved that I took the vaccine early as the rise in cases is concerning, especially for my two-year-old son and 60-year-old mother-in-law whom I live with," she said, adding that she avoids crowded places.

Her vaccination went smoothly. She said: "I was a bit worried at first, thinking I might encounter some side-effects from the vaccine, but I didn't get any except for feeling fatigued. I felt fine after taking a nap."

Last month, ST reported that an unvaccinated pregnant woman contracted Covid-19 late in her pregnancy and had to give birth in an isolation ward. She also had to be separated from her newborn son for 2½ weeks after the birth to ensure he would not be infected.

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