Pregnant Ballarat women have been reassured that it's safe to receive a COVID vaccination following a change to health advice earlier this month.
"The risk of the vaccine (Pfizer) to a pregnant woman or her unborn child is extremely low even in an environment in Australia where the risks of getting COVID are low," said Lachlan Brennan from Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ballarat.
Earlier this month the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommended that pregnant women be routinely offered the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
It follows previous advice to offer vaccinations to women who were pregnant and at high risk of catching COVID-19, or had medical conditions leaving them more vulnerable.
This daily infographic provides the total number of vaccine doses administered in Australia as of 21 June 2021. Stay up to date with #COVID19 vaccine information here: https://t.co/TUKfzVuGVm#COVID19vaccines#COVID19pic.twitter.com/egO8gItkjW— Australian Government Department of Health (@healthgovau) June 22, 2021
Dr Brennan said the change had come a little earlier than expected but was based on overseas experience and research trials.
The joint statement from RANZCOG and ATAGI recommending pregnant women receive the vaccine and encouraged women to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their doctor.
"Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity," the groups stated.
Last week's change of advice recommending people aged 50 and over receive the Pfizer vaccine instead of AstraZeneca, if they have not yet had their first dose of AstraZeneca, has placed further pressure on Pfizer stocks.
The Commonwealth has increased the number of doses allocated to Victoria to 83,070 per week in July with extra stocks also sent to GPs.
Acting premier James Merlino doubled down on his criticism of the federal government over vaccine supply after Monday's national cabinet, saying he was "not happy".
"We do know for a period of time, it's going to get worse in terms of the supply of the vaccine from the Commonwealth before it gets better," he said.
"There will be weeks in July and August that we'll have a reduction in vaccines to our state sites. So there will be a mad rush in October, November and December."
IN OTHER NEWS
Victoria recorded no new cases of community transmission on Tuesday and two cases in hotel quarantine.
There are now 51 active cases in the state as Whittlesea, Port Melbourne and West Melbourne clusters plunged the state back in to lockdown last month.
The acting premier is expected to announce a further easing of restrictions this week. "We're absolutely on the right track, I also have strong expectations we can go that next step, both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria," said chief health officer Brett Sutton.
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