A Davao City health official said that pregnant women, who are in their second or third trimesters, can now avail themselves of the vaccination drive of the city, saying that it is generally safe during this stage of pregnancy.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, Davao City COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson said during the COVID-19 Alert program on Wednesday over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) that pregnant women, considered as a vulnerable sector, have been placed under the expanded A3 priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.

“Ang pregnancy dili siya sakit but they are considered immunocompromised nga mga individuals. Because of this, tagaan sila ug prioritization and they will be given prioritization for vaccination (Pregnancy is not a disease but pregnant women are considered immunocompromised individuals. Because of this, we will give them priority in our vaccination rollout),” Schlosser said.

On August 20, the National COVID-19 Vaccination Operation Center issued an advisory after consultation with the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), as well as the Department of Health (DOH) and other experts, that pregnant women in the later part of the pregnancy can get vaccinated.

“Kini sila nga mga expert, nag-recommend nga pwede na magpa-vaccine ang mga pregnant women on their second and third trimester (These experts recommended vaccination for pregnant women who are in their second and third trimester),” she said.

She further emphasized that pregnant women in their first trimester may be given the vaccine however, they must first fully understand the risk of complication since the baby is still developing inside their womb. 

“Pag ihatag siya sa first trimester of pregnancy, naa siyay taas-taas nga possibility of complication (If it will be given to first trimester of pregnancy, there is a high possibility of complication for pregnant women,” she said.

Schlosser emphasized that all the vaccines, except for the Russian-developed vaccine Gamaleya Sputnik vaccine, being rolled out by the national government are safe for pregnant women as clinical studies have shown no increased risk for miscarriage from the jab.

According to the Philippine Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, COVID-19 infection in pregnancy has increased the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, infection requiring antibiotics, ICU admission and mechanical ventilation, longer hospital stay, cesarean delivery, and premature birth, intrauterine fetal deaths, and neonatal deaths.

Based on the data from Davao City Vaccination Cluster on the city’s total Vaccine Administered, there has been a total of 507,032 who got the first dose and 305,553 for the second dose.

The DOH said that aside from pregnant women, lactating mothers can likewise get vaccinated to protect themselves from the severe effect of COVID-19 amid the delta-fueled spike of Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, Schlosser said that pregnant women in their second and third trimester who wants to get vaccinated may bring ultrasound picture or prenatal checkup as proof just in case they will be asked to. But if pregnancy is already obvious, there’s no need to.

Those pregnant women in their first trimester who want to get the shots and are at the highest risk from Covid-19, such as frontline health workers, must secure medical clearance from their doctor and should be properly informed on the possible risks and benefits of the vaccine. CIO