By Theresa Goodwin
A medical practitioner is advising against administering any form of Covid-19 vaccine to women who are pregnant, while suggesting that there is no evidence, just yet, to show how the vaccine could affect an unborn child.
“At this point, based on the evidence that we have, we avoid vaccinating women who are pregnant,” Dr Patrick Matthews told listeners to a local radio station over the weekend.
“More research might be coming very shortly that may indicate that it is perfectly safe for pregnant women, but at this stage in the game we are not recommending it.”
Aside from pregnant mothers, the medical practitioner posited that vaccines to treat against the dreaded disease are relatively safe and residents should ensure they are able to access it whenever it becomes available.
“The vaccines do not just protect you from getting Covid and keeping you out of the hospital, it also protects you from getting long term Covid – a long list of symptoms than can last for six months or more,” Dr Matthews explained.
“It is a win, win. It will prevent our people from getting sick, prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed and allow us to go right back into our tourism business, including bringing back the cruise ships.”
The medical professional sought to address the position taken by many people who are dead set against taking the Covid-19 vaccines, saying: “let me take you through a condition that is far more than taking the vaccine; it is stupidity. Stupidity is more likely to kill you in this case than any vaccines. While a vaccine may or may not have side effects, the benefits outweigh the risks”.
Antigua and Barbuda and many other territories in the region are hoping to access vaccines through the World Health’s Organization (WHO) COVAX facility. The countries were recently informed that an estimated dose of the AstraZeneca vaccines have been allocated and the distribution phase will span the first and second quarter of 2021.
The ministry of health has also established a team of professionals who are tasked with the responsibility of determining which vaccine or vaccines would be best suited for the local population.