Bivalent vaccine against Covid becomes available for pregnant women – 03/18/2023 – Health

Bivalent vaccine against Covid becomes available for pregnant women – 03/18/2023 – Health

The use of the bivalent Covid vaccine began a few weeks ago in Brazil. The objective of the Ministry of Health is to apply the immunizer in groups that are at greater risk of developing severe cases of the disease.

One of them are pregnant and puerperal women, mothers whose baby was born recently — up to 45 days.

In São Paulo alone, the Municipal Health Department estimates that 130,000 women can receive the dose from next Monday (20).

See below for answers to frequently asked questions about immunization.

When and where does vaccination with the booster start for pregnant and puerperal women?

According to the schedule of the Ministry of Health, reinforcement for pregnant and postpartum women with the updated vaccine should start this Monday (20) in the Brazilian public network.

However, the schedule developed by the folder is an indication for the health departments. That is, it may be that in some municipalities the reinforcement starts to be applied later or even has already been started.

The latter case is that of the city of Rio de Janeiro. According to the municipal secretariat of the capital of Rio de Janeiro, vaccination with the bivalent Pfizer vaccine began last Monday (13).

“In the first three days of the campaign with the bivalent vaccine, around 1,500 women were immunized, including pregnant and postpartum women”, completed the secretariat.

What does it take to get the vaccine?

The Ministry of Health says that, for pregnant women, no document is required to prove pregnancy. It is enough for the woman to claim to be pregnant. In the case of puerperal women, it is necessary to present some document that proves the birth of the baby. Birth certificate, pregnant woman’s card or a document from the maternity hospital where the birth took place are some examples.

In addition, to take the bivalent vaccine, it is necessary that the pregnant or puerperal woman has completed the basic scheme with two doses – or one dose, in the case of Janssen – of vaccination against Covid.

It is also necessary that the last dose has been applied with a minimum interval of four months.

How many months pregnant can you get the vaccine against Covid?

The Ministry of Health does not recommend a minimum or maximum number of months of pregnancy for pregnant women to receive the updated dose of the vaccine against Covid.

Why take the bivalent vaccine booster?

Vaccination is essential for anyone who wants to protect themselves against Covid, avoiding serious illness.

The bivalent dose is even more relevant as it is an update to the original vaccine. It is composed of strains of the omicron variant, which causes most cases of Covid today.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, pregnant women and women have been considered risk groups for Covid.

“Infection with Sars-CoV-2 [vírus que causa a Covid] in pregnant women is associated with substantial increases in maternal morbidity and mortality when compared to Covid-19 in non-pregnant women”, says the Ministry of Health.

In addition to causing more risk of death and serious complications in pregnant women, the infection results in negative effects on babies.

Research published earlier this year noted that the need to admit a newborn to a neonatal ICU was almost twice as high among children of pregnant women who tested positive for Covid. The birth of premature babies was also another more common outcome among those with Covid compared to pregnant women without the disease.

Therefore, it is important that pregnant and puerperal women take the bivalent vaccine and keep the calendar up to date.

I am not pregnant or have recently given birth, can I get vaccinated with the bivalent?

For now, only some groups of people who are more vulnerable to severe Covid-19 conditions can take the bivalent dose.

According to the model indicated by the Ministry of Health, the immunization should already be applied to elderly people over 60 years old, people and workers living in long-term institutions, immunosuppressed, such as those living with HIV or undergoing treatment for cancer, indigenous people , riverside dwellers and quilombolas. This Monday (20), pregnant and puerperal women enter that list.

The folder also indicates that the immunizer will begin to be applied, from April 17, on health workers, people with disabilities, population deprived of liberty, minors in socio-educational measures and prison system employees.

It is also necessary that the person has taken the last dose at least four months ago, is over 12 years old and has completed the primary scheme. The beginning of the application can also change depending on the municipality.

If someone is not part of these groups, vaccination continues with the monovalent model, which is still very effective in preventing serious conditions.

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