The Oxford and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines can now be given to pregnant women and breastfeeding mums subject to medical advice.
Experts at a Downing Street briefing said both the Oxford vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine can now be given to pregnant and breastfeeding women following a discussion with their doctor weighing up the benefits and the risks.
Decisions have to be taken on an individual basis and upon advice with a medical professional.
Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of Commission on Human Medicine Expert Working Group, and Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of JCVI, were discussing this morning’s announcement that the Oxford University/Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use by the UK.
Initial advice for the Pfizer vaccine said it was not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This advice has now been revised, the press briefing heard.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can be taken by pregnant women "when the potential benefits outweigh the risks", Dr June Raine said.
Dr Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said previous advice had not recommended its use by pregnant and breastfeeding women due to "an initial lack of evidence on a precautionary basis".
She told the briefing: "But now that we have reviewed further data that has become available, the Commission on Human Medicines has advised that the vaccine can be considered for use in pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh the risks, following an individual discussion with every woman.
"And as the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca is the same, women should always be discussing benefits and risks of having the vaccine with their health professional, reaching a decision together based on individual circumstances, and women who are breastfeeding can now also be given the vaccine, subject to that individual discussion."
Dr Raine told the briefing the organisation undertook a "thorough and scientifically rigorous review" of the data backing the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
"The safety of the public always comes first," she said.
"The MHRA's approval has been reached following a thorough and scientifically rigorous review of all the evidence of safety, of quality, and of effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"We all know that we are facing one of the biggest threats to health, not only of the UK public but everyone around the world.
"And as the UK regulator we take this very seriously indeed.
"These are difficult times for so many of us, but vaccines such as this one will have the potential to save many lives, and will see us come through.
"Having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect us, and may save tens of thousands of lives."
Professor Pirmohamed, chairman of the Commission on Human Medicines expert working group on Covid-19 vaccines, said: "The remit of the committee was really to look at the data and evidence in relation to the effectiveness, safety and quality of the vaccine and in particular, to weigh the benefits against the risks of any vaccine.
"We looked at all the available data, we had access to all the raw data as well as assessment reports from the MHRA, and we answered questions from the MHRA.
"This was a rolling review which meant we were looking at data as it was coming in.
"When we felt the data was not adequate we went back to the company to ask for more data, we also asked for more analysis.
"We had many hours of committee work on this, including over the holiday period recently, to come to the decision we came to yesterday evening."Follow the Official Rokna NEWS Telegram Channel For More and fresh NEWS.