Israeli Health Ministry Advises Pregnant Women Do Not Get Vaccinated in First Trimester

Ministry says first trimester is characterized by various complications, recommends avoiding jab to prevent suspicion of connection to vaccine

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A pregnant woman getting vaccinated against the coronavirus in Tel Aviv, January 2021.
A pregnant woman getting vaccinated against the coronavirus in Tel Aviv, January 2021. Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

The Health Ministry said that it does not recommend pregnant women in their first trimester to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, unless they are part of the at-risk population.

"The first trimester is characterized by a relatively high incidence of hemorrhages, miscarriages and the formation of fetal malformations," the ministry said in a statement.

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"To avoid any suspicion of connection, even coincidental, between the vaccine and the aforementioned phenomena, we recommend that pregnant women who do not belong to at-risk populations be vaccinated only after starting their second trimester."

The ministry clarified, however, that "There is no evidence that the vaccine causes damage to the fetus or to the proper course of pregnancy throughout the entire pregnancy, nor does a biological mechanism exist that can imply such a possibility exists."

The ministry recommended women who are breastfeeding to get inoculated. Women who received the first dose of the vaccine and only later discovered they were pregnant were advised to receive the second dose according to the appropriate timetable.

In addition, women who are planning to have a baby or who are undergoing fertility treatments were advised to receive both doses before getting pregnant.

Moreover, the ministry suggested that women who intended to get an amniocentesis test to make sure that at least a week has elapsed since receiving the vaccine and undergoing the test. The ministry explained that the goal is to prevent confusion between possible side effects caused by the vaccine, like fever, and possible complications resulting from the amniocentesis test.

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