While many people in Denmark have already gotten their first or second jab, pregnant and breastfeeding women have so far been excluded from the vaccination programme. Previously, health authorities have been hesitant to offer the vaccine to theses specific groups due to insufficient data.
However, new insights and experience from other countries have resulted in Sundhedsstryrelsen changing its guidelines and recommending the vaccine for both pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Effective and safe
“Several other countries have gradually obtained extensive experience with vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding women with the mRNA vaccines from BioNtech-Pfizer and Moderna – among these the US, Israel, Canada and Scotland,” the health authority wrote in a press release.
“Data from these countries concordantly shows that the vaccines are very effective and safe for both pregnant women and the unborn child, as well as the breastfed child.”
Impatience with Danish hesitation
The new recommendations come after weeks of criticism that Denmark – unlike surrounding countries like Sweden, Iceland and Norway – has waited to offer the vaccine to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Pregnant women have a heightened risk of a serious illness from COVID-19, and an infection during pregnancy can also increase the chance of premature birth.
“Based on technical knowledge about the vaccine’s effect and safety we can now present a safe solution to the women that have been unhappy with not being vaccinated,” said the head of Sundhedsstryrelsen Søren Brostrøm.
“As an obstetrician, I know how important it is for pregnant women to feel safe during their pregnancy,” he stressed.
Recommended in second and third trimester
The new guidelines make it possible for women to get the vaccine in all three trimesters of their pregnancy. However, as a cautionary measure Sundhedsstyrelsen recommends to wait until the second or third trimester.
It is still possible to get vaccinated in the first trimester, but it requires approval from your own doctor before the first jab can be given.
If women wish to wait until after their pregnancy, the vaccine offer will still be valid.
However, if you are planning to become pregnant, Sundhedsstyrelsen recommends that you accept the offer beforehand.
All pregnant and breastfeeding women can book their time for the vaccine at www.vacciner.dk.