Khairy: AstraZeneca, Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines still not advisable for pregnant women

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin helps register members of the public for their AstraZeneca jab at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur May 16, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin helps register members of the public for their AstraZeneca jab at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur May 16, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin today clarified that the current available data shows that only the Pfizer-BioNTech is suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

This, however, does not extend to the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, with current safety data still limited.

“Based on the advice of the expert working group at MoH (Ministry of Health), for the Pfizer vaccine, it is suitable for pregnant mothers of between 14 weeks to 33 weeks or advisable to postpone their vaccine shots after their pregnancy, this is the actual guidelines.

“However, for breastfeeding moms it is advisable for them to take Pfizer, for Sinovac it is not advisable for them to take at this time. However for breastfeeding mothers, the safety data available is limited and any recommendation will be made after consultations  

“For AstraZeneca, it is the same case with the Sinovac vaccine. Pregnant mothers are not advised to take the vaccines and for breastfeeding mothers, available safety data is also limited and any recommendation will be made after consultation.

“This is the current guide that is available and members of the public who have any doubts or questions, please consult your doctors,’’ said Khairy.

On May 14, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin had issued a statement, reiterating her call for the government to provide better information on whether it is safe for pregnant women to receive the AstraZeneca and other vaccines in the national vaccine portfolio.

Yeo, who reportedly is herself 17-weeks pregnant at the time, said when she received her vaccine during the first phase of Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, she had to do her own research as to whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that she was assigned was safe for her.

In Malaysia’s vaccine portfolio, the national immunisation programme utilises AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, CanSinoBio and Sputnik V vaccines.

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