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Pregnant women, under 16 children not to take COVID-19 vaccines – WHO

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An advisory from the World Health Organization (WHO) says the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to children under 16, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and people with a history of severe health.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) on Friday  said pregnant women are at higher risk than non-pregnant women, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of pre-term birth.

The global health organization noted that due to insufficient data, the vaccine will not be recommended for pregnant women at this time.

The statement further advised that should a pregnant woman have an unavoidable risk high of exposure to COVID-19, such as a health worker, vaccination may be considered in discussion with their healthcare provider.

“It is recommended to avoid pregnancy for 2 to 3 months post-vaccination.

“If a breastfeeding woman is part of a group (e.g. health workers) recommended for vaccination, vaccination can be offered.

“WHO does not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination,” the statement said.

However, SAGE recommendation assured that the vaccine has been found safe and effective for known medical conditions such as people suffering hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease, as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled.

In December 2020, the U.S President-elect, Joe Biden, received a jab of the vaccine on live television to encourage Americans to receive shots of their own when they could.

The Nigerian government is in talks with Beijing for a consignment of the vaccine, foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed on Tuesday.

The government on Thursday appealed to citizens not to reject vaccines when they finally arrive.

To demonstrate the safety of the vaccines, a government task force is propping President Buhari and his Vice, Osibanjo to publicly take the jab.

However, Nigeria’s body of dental and medical practitioners, NMA urged the government to conduct an evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives in the country, saying “Africa input” were not put in the vaccine development.

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