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STIKO recommends COVID vaccine for all pregnant women in Germany

STIKO recommends COVID vaccine for all pregnant women in Germany

STIKO recommends COVID vaccine for all pregnant women in Germany

Germany’s Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has issued a recommendation that all pregnant and breastfeeding women protect themselves against coronavirus with two doses of an mRNA vaccine. 

STIKO recommends COVID vaccine from 2nd trimester

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday that STIKO now recommends an mRNA vaccination for pregnant women, from the second trimester of pregnancy, and for breastfeeding women. They said the decision was made “after detailed consultation and evaluation of the existing evidence.” 

After analysing data from more than 21.000 vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women, comparing how often infections occurred in both groups, STIK concluded that the effectiveness of the vaccination in pregnant women is roughly comparable to that in the general population. Other studies have shown that the vaccination does not cause any unusual side effects in pregnant women, and no cases in which the fetus was harmed have been recorded. 

At the same time, more and more data suggests that pregnant women are particularly at risk from COVID-19 disease. Research shows they are admitted to intensive care about six times more often than the general population. Even mild COVID infections increase the risk of complications during pregnancy such as premature birth or pre-eclampsia. 

German Health Minister urges pregnant women to get vaccinated

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “Pregnant and breastfeeding women now have a clear recommendation to get vaccinated. After many months with many unanswered questions, that finally means scientifically-founded certainty.” He appealed to all pregnant and breastfeeding women: “Ask your doctor. Get vaccinated. Protect yourself and your child.” 

Up until now, doctors have been able to vaccinate pregnant women, but STIKO only recommended it in cases where the woman had a previous condition resulting in a high risk of a severe COVID disease or an increased risk of infection due to their living conditions. 

The draft recommendation now has to go through what is known as an opinion procedure with the federal states and a number of specialist groups. It is not yet a final recommendation. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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