In a significant development, over 2.27 lakh pregnant women have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine under the ongoing National COVID Vaccination drive.
The state of Tamil Nadu is leading the way by vaccinating over 78,838 pregnant women, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 34,228, Odisha with 29,821, Madhya Pradesh with 21,842, Kerala with 18,423 and Karnataka with 16,673 pregnant women vaccinated.
As part of the campaign to allay fears, apprehensions, misinformed rumours and some social taboos and issues, a guidance note to assist the States/UTs in operationalizing the COVID vaccination programme for pregnant women was shared by the Union Health Ministry on 2nd July 2021. This was followed up by training of the programme managers, service providers and frontline health workers to equip them to counsel the pregnant women and their families during antenatal care about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. The States/UTs further sensitized their vaccination teams in the Government and private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) regarding COVID vaccination for pregnant women.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) had recommended vaccination for pregnant women leading to inclusion of pregnant women in India’s COVID Vaccination Drive. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) had unanimously recommended it earlier. Additionally, a national level Consultation on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women was convened by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to build consensus on COVID Vaccination of pregnant women.