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Testing for Covid-19. Photo credit: City of Vienna

First in the EU: Vienna to vaccinate pregnant women from mid-May

The city of Vienna wants to be the first city in the EU to have pregnant women vaccinated from mid-May. This was announced by the office of the Vienna City Councilor for Health. Experts are alarmed.

Published: May 5, 2021, 8:25 am

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    From mid-May, Vienna will be the first city in the European Union to also have pregnant women vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The office of City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) announced this on Sunday, reported the Austrian portal oe24.

    At the initiative of the Vienna Health Association, the National Vaccination Committee included pregnant women as a priority group in the vaccination plan at the end of April. The City of Vienna will thus have pregnant women vaccinated against Covid-19 from the 13th week of pregnancy.

    Depending on how many expectant mothers are interested in an anti-Corona vaccination, the vaccination dates for pregnant women are activated without restriction or vaccinations are given according to prioritization. In the latter case, heavily pregnant women will have their turn first, and the next candidates will be considered based on the respective week of pregnancy.

    It has been found that pregnant women who become infected, often suffer a more severe form of the illness than non-pregnant women in the same age group, the portal reported.

    Martin Hesse from the professional association of Thuringian gynecologists, on the other hand, warned against general Corona vaccinations for pregnant women, according to the MDR Thuringia. The Thuringian state chairman told the broadcaster that vaccination of pregnant women is not desirable as long as sufficient data has not been generated yet.

    According to the gynecologist, Thuringian gynecologists have been involved in the vaccination campaign since last week, but they adhere to the requirements of the Standing Vaccination Commission in Germany (STIKO). It stipulates that the vaccination may only be offered to pregnant women after an individual risk-benefit assessment, for example if they have had previous illnesses.

    In Thuringian special care units, however, pregnant women with severe courses are a rarity. The majority of the so-called Level 1 clinics that care for patients with severe courses in the Free State of Thuringia have not had to treat any infected pregnant women in intensive care since the beginning of the pandemic.

    According to a spokeswoman, the number of pregnant women infected with Covid-19 at the Altenburger Land clinic has been “manageable” since the beginning of the pandemic and all cases have been mild. The Wald-Klinikum Gera painted a similar picture; pregnant infected women are isolated cases, their number has not increased. At the St. Georg Klinikum Eisenach, an increasing number of Covid-19-positive women have given birth in the past few months, but there were no intensive inpatient cases there either.

    In countries outside the EU, including the USA, Great Britain, Israel, pregnant women are already regularly vaccinated. As a rule, mRNA vaccines are used for this.

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