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Pregnant and breastfeeding Canadians should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine

January 28, 2021

A new commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine, with an individual’s decision about vaccination to be guided by a discussion with their health-care provider.

The authors discuss how women and health-care providers can use a shared decision-making process to weigh the risks and benefits of vaccination to decide what is right for the individual. The approach aligns with recent recommendations from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, which states that women should not be precluded from COVID-19 vaccination based on pregnancy status or breastfeeding.

“To date, there is no evidence to show there are risks to getting vaccinated if pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, there may be real benefits to vaccination as pregnant women are at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 and pregnancy complications,” says Dr. Jonathan Zipursky, co-author and clinical pharmacologist at Sunnybrook.