Doctors, including gynecologists and immunisation experts, and public health experts in Tamil Nadu say that pregnant women need to be vaccinated on a priority basis as a number of pregnant women/new mothers are dying due to Covid-19 in the second wave.
Senior doctors from Tamil Nadu are now requesting the Central government to permit vaccination of pregnant women on a priority basis.
A report from the state Public Health Department states that the number of deaths of pregnant women and new mothers due to Covid-19 in the state in April and May, at 20, has been double that compared to March-December 2020, where nine such deaths were reported.
Talking to IANS, Dr Manonmani Arun, a senior gynaecologist with a private hospital in Madurai, said: "During the second wave of the pandemic, we are seeing an increased number of pregnant women and new mothers losing their lives owing to Covid-19. I feel that there is an urgent need to vaccinate these women and I do appeal to the TN Public Health Department to request the Union government to inoculate these women on a priority basis."
Customs and rituals associated with pregnancy in Tamil Nadu lead to many people attending these functions and pregnant women are at a high risk of contracting the disease.
Dr Rajani Varrier, a gynaecologist with a Chennai private hospital, told IANS that the need of the hour is urgent vaccination of pregnant women. "Last week, a 29-year-old lady doctor died due to Covid in a city hospital here after she contracted pneumonia. The state Health Department and Tamil Nadu government must appeal to the Government of India to allow vaccination of pregnant women with immediate effect."
"We are inoculating new mothers, but the risk for pregnant women is still there and they should be given vaccination on a priority basis," she added.
The state Public Health Department is also worried over the increasing cases of Covid-19 among pregnant women and sources in the department told IANS that a request will be sent to the Union government for permitting vaccination of pregnant women.