2 Pregnant Hong Kong Women Suffer Miscarriages After Covid-19 Vaccination

Two pregnant women in Hong Kong have reportedly suffered miscarriages after receiving the BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine Pfizer. The Department of Health on Wednesday released a statement which says it had received the first reports of miscarriages in pregnant women following immunization against the novel Coronavirus since the vaccination drive kicked off about two months ago. While the link to the jabs has not been established yet, the health authorities are now assessing the cases.

"Currently, there is no evidence indicating that the two cases were related to vaccination," according to the statement. One of the two women, who is a 32-year-old, was treated at Queen Mary Hospital on Sunday for vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal pain. The woman suffered a miscarriage on the same day. The fetus found dead inside the women's womb was around 23 to 24 weeks old, according to reports.

Also, the woman could not provide a clear account of information regarding her pregnancy, according to the statement which further stated that the woman on Thursday had received the German-made BioNTech vaccine dose at St Paul's Hospital Community Vaccination Centre. Moreover, there's no record of the woman's complaining about feeling unwell during the observation at the hospital and authorities didn't state if the woman had informed the staff about her pregnancy.

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Why Pregnant Women are Prone to Higher Risks

The data on pregnancy and COVID-19 are still incomplete. During pregnancy women's bodies are more vulnerable to severe diseases and COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 can easily infect women while they are pregnant. This is partly because pregnant women's immune systems are uniquely adjusted, and partly because of the points of attack of Coronavirus, which are the lungs and the cardiovascular system that is already stressed during pregnancy.

WHO's Recommendation On Vaccination During Pregnancy

Earlier, the WHO (World Health Organization) had released guidance about the use of Moderna Inc.'s and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines. The organization generally recommended against the use of the vaccine during pregnancy except for those having a severe case or those at high risk of Covid-19.

"In the interim, WHO recommends not to use mRNA-1273 in pregnancy, unless the benefit of vaccinating a pregnant woman outweighs the potential vaccine risks, such as in health workers at high risk of exposure and pregnant women with co-morbidities placing them in a high-risk group for severe Covid-19," the statement said.

WHO said it doesn't recommend Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccines after women go through pregnancy testing, nor does it recommend delaying pregnancy following vaccination. But WHO does recommend vaccination of lactating women, as the shots are unlikely to pose a risk to children who are breastfed.

This article was first published on April 15, 2021