Pregnant women must not get COVID vaccine in first trimester - Health Min.

"Their condition is very serious and is not stable at all."

Visibly pregnant 34-year-old Narkis receives her coronavirus vaccine in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2021.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
Visibly pregnant 34-year-old Narkis receives her coronavirus vaccine in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2021.
The Health Ministry released their recommendations on vaccinating women who are pregnant or nursing on Thursday, stating that women in their first trimester should not receive the coronavirus vaccine
In it, the ministry notes that the most serious complications for pregnant women who contract COVID-19 happen when they are in their third trimester. 
As such, the recommendation for pregnant women in their first trimester is to wait until the second one to get vaccinated. This is not related directly to the effects of the vaccine, but rather is due to the sensitive developmental stages of the fetus, and the possibility of a miscarriage. 
The ministry recommends this "so as to avoid any suspicion, even coincidental, of a correlation between the vaccine" and these possible conditions and effects, the guidelines stated.
The ministry also emphasized that there is no proof of damage or danger to mother or fetus caused by taking the vaccine. 
Women who are planning on getting pregnant should preferably get vaccinated before starting the process, while women who have already taken the first dose and gotten pregnant should proceed with the second. 
Additionally, pregnant women who are in high-risk categories, or are on their second or third pregnancy should get vaccinated as well. 
Health experts have been praising Israeli health authorities for their quick initiative in pushing forward with vaccinations for pregnant women, despite doubts. 
“Let’s look at some facts: women who are pregnant are more likely to develop a severe form of the disease than their peers who are not,” Yariv Yogev, director of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Sourasky Medical Center's Ichilov Hospital told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.  
This comment came in response to the WHO's announcement on Tuesday that they do not recommend the Moderna vaccine to pregnant women. 
The WHO still recommended that pregnant women who fall into high-risk categories should get vaccinated. "This means that they still believe the vaccine is safe," Yoav Yinon, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, told The Jerusalem Post in that same interview. 
Sheba currently has 12 pregnant women who are in critical condition. 
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Tuesday, "I would say, not being a medical doctor, that when I look at these terrible cases of a number of pregnant women who are in serious condition with the coronavirus, I say to myself, probably it is worse to take the little risk of taking the vaccine instead of finding yourself in a terrible situation in the hospital."
This comes as the conditions of three different women who tested positive for the novel coronavirus while pregnant deteriorated, according to the reports by their respective hospitals on Thursday.
A 34-year-old pregnant woman who tested positive for coronavirus was transferred to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer on Thursday when her condition worsened. She is currently hooked up to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
This very same fate was suffered by two women earlier on Thursday, also pregnant, also with COVID-19. They have both been connected to ECMO machines at Beilinson. Beilison's Dr. Ilya Kagan, who heads the hospital's coronavirus emergency ward, said that "their conditions are very serious and not stable at all."
They will remain connected to the ECMO machines "until they get better." 
The ECMO machine eases the breathing requirements on the heart and lungs by pumping the blood of the patient externally. 
Last week, the Health Ministry approved the coronavirus vaccine for pregnant women. Pfizer had previously published studies that included pregnant women, though they didn't know they were pregnant at the time. Both their pregnancies and their births were normal.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman and Rossella Tercatin contributed to this report.