Germany recommends Covid-19 vaccinations for pregnant women

Numerous countries have this year recommended that pregnant have Covid-19 vaccinations after finding them to be safe. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Germany's vaccine oversight body on Friday (Sept 10) recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be vaccinated against Covid-19 with an mRNA-based shot.

The Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) advises that women should receive two shots from the second trimester of pregnancy, according to guidance posted on the website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

"In addition, Stiko expressly recommends vaccination against Covid-19 for those of child-bearing age who are not yet or incompletely vaccinated, to ensure very good protection against this disease before pregnancy," the guidance added.

Numerous countries have this year recommended that the pregnant have Covid-19 vaccinations after finding them to be safe.

The European Medicines Agency said in July that data seen so far did not suggest any safety concerns, and in August, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that pregnant women should be vaccinated.

Germany is administering two vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology - one made by local start-up BioNTech in partnership with Pfizer, and a second from Moderna.

"Even pregnant and breastfeeding women now have a clear recommendation for vaccination," said Health Minister Jens Spahn.

"My urgent request to all pregnant and breastfeeding women: Ask your doctor. Get vaccinated. You are protecting yourself and your child."

Germany's vaccine drive is lagging behind efforts in France, Spain and Portugal, leading RKI chief Lothar Wieler to warn this week of a "massive" fourth wave of infections this autumn if its pace is not stepped up.

Germany has fully vaccinated 73 per cent of adults, compared with 71 per cent across the European Union as a whole, official figures show.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.