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12 August 2021

Joint Statement - RANZCOG and RACGP - Pregnant women need access to COVID-19 vaccinations

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) urge all jurisdictions, and practitioners, to heed the advice issued by RANZCOG and ATAGI which recommends that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy.

Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of vaccine-induced antibodies in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

Pregnant women are now eligible for the vaccine.

“We are concerned that pregnant women are having difficulty accessing vaccination. The risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. It’s critical that pregnant women, and their doctors, are aware of this clear advice and that barriers to pregnant women receiving the vaccine are removed,” said Dr Vijay Roach, RANZCOG President.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price said that GPs play a vital role in providing advice to pregnant women in communities across Australia.

“GPs are at the frontline of healthcare delivery for pregnant women,” she said.

 “We are equipped with comprehensive knowledge and expertise and best placed to advise pregnant women.

“The data are clear – COVID-19 infection in pregnancy is high risk, and COVID-19 vaccination is very safe, and provides strong protection against the virus.”

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