Seasonal flu shot a must for expectant mothers - GulfToday

Seasonal flu shot a must for expectant mothers


The woman has her mask intact during the telephonic conversation. John Varughese / Gulf Today

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) president-elect Dr. Jeanne Conry said all pregnant women must be guided and should not tarry in securing their simple influenza vaccine, amidst the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the last quarter of the year signaling the cold spell.

She stressed the urgency, saying they have to get immunized “now.”

On Thursday and ahead of the Sept. 28 (Monday) launch of the “UAE Annual Seasonal Flu Campaign,” pregnant women, healthcare personnel, children from six months to five years old, the elderly and the chronically ill, should also avail of the seasonal flu shot, as per World Health Organization guidelines, according to UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP)-Health Centers, Health Sector & Public Health assistant undersecretary Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand.

Conry, the 64th president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG), set to assume in 2021 the top leadership of the world body covering national organizations of women’s health in 132 nations, moreover, encouraged all expectant mothers to enroll in COVID19-related registries.

She claimed their participation in these registries is pivotal; they would help individuals in both the fields of Science and Medicine to learn more about the nature and consequences that the COVID19-causing SARS-CoV2 virus bring on and would still possibly bring on to the pregnant and the unborn.

Conry emphasized that much as the expectant mothers are and should be provided with utmost care and attention, they, who belong to the health force, should be fully supported by all through these unpredictable period since they too, are vulnerable to the virus and its consequences, even as they have sworn oath to take care of the sick: “They are not put off the job. They are placed in safe locations; not in a COVID19 (area).”

Conry was guest at the 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (UAE time) “COVID-19 and Pregnancy” webinar of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences on Wednesday.

Moderated by Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society of Emirates Medical Association president Dr. Muna AbdulRazzak Tahlak, the other guest was FIGO and National Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of India former president Prof. Chittaranjan Purandare.

Purandare’s talk was on the “Overview of COVID-19 in Pregnancy.” Among the collated and analyzed early data, pregnant women had been observed to have gone through “fever, cough, (shortness of breath), diarrhea, renal failure, and multi-organ dysfunction.” The high-risks are the asthmatics, HIV patients, and the chronically ill like the hypertensives and diabetics, as well as sufferers of liver and kidney diseases.

Conry presented the ACOG brief featuring data and analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 8,207 expectant mothers with COVID-19 and 83,205 non-pregnant women with COVID-19. She randomly discussed research documents from other countries such as Italy. She said that while it is exactly not that horrible as the mortality rate of COVID-19 pregnant women are generally low, the medical community worldwide has the responsibility to constantly counsel this group regarding accepting and embracing COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Conry said the different research works on pregnant women since the pandemic was unleashed in March offered varying indications and conclusions. Thus, the essentiality of the registries.

On the CDC/ACOG paper, she said: “Historically, respiratory infections in pregnant individuals have been thought to increase their risk for severe morbidity and mortality. With regard to COVID-19, early available data did not indicate that pregnant individuals were at an increased risk of infection or severe morbidity, compared with the non-pregnant individuals in the general population.

Conry said that one in 68 expectant mothers with COVID-19 became intensive care unit patients compared with one in 110 non-pregnant women. One in 195 pregnant women with COVID-19 were subjected to mechanical ventilation versus one in 370 non-pregnant women.

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