The health authorities are no longer advising women to avoid pregnancy if getting vaccinated but say that those at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19 should discuss the matter with their doctor first.

Until now, women had been advised to delay getting pregnant after taking the jab and not to receive it if already pregnant.

Times of Malta sought the health authorities’ comments after the World Health Organisation on Friday revised its position on the Moderna vaccine, one of the two jabs currently available in Malta.

The WHO said there was "no specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women”.

However, those pregnant women who are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, or those who have certain vulnerabilities which put them at risk of complications if infected, should consult their doctor about taking the coronavirus vaccine, the WHO said.

There is similar advice on the Pfizer jab, the other type of vaccine currently being administered here.

A health ministry spokesperson quoted the WHO advice, adding: “The potential benefits of vaccination may be especially important for certain pregnant women.”

On delaying pregnancy, the spokesperson said that there is “no need to avoid pregnancy once both doses of the Pfizer/ BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been received”.

The ministry spokesperson, however, was adamant that women should always consult their personal doctor before deciding on getting the coronavirus jab.

Last year, when the island went into quasi-lockdown, pregnant women were among the group of vulnerable people asked to stay at home.

124 new cases, 27,700 jabs

The health authorities yesterday reported a total of 124 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths, pushing the number of casualties in the country to 269.

The rate of positive tests was just over four per cent.

The number of jabs against the virus, meanwhile, rose to 27,759, with 3,948 being second doses.

The authorities said that 141 patients recovered between Sunday and yesterday, leaving 2,657 active cases. The number of swabs in 24 hours reached 3,037.

The latest casualties were a man, aged 81, and a woman, aged 88, who died at Mater Dei Hospital after testing positive for the virus, the health ministry said. 

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