The Moderna vaccine has caught the attention of the World Health Organization (WHO), as the health agency has put a stop to its administration on pregnant women citing a lack of data.
The WHO, stated that it is not recommending pregnant women, along with those who have severe allergic reactions, to get vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. While it recognizes the risk associated with pregnancy during the pandemic, WHO is adamant about pregnant women not getting vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine.
Experts recommend avoiding the Moderna vaccine if they are pregnant, with the only exception if they are health care workers working in a facility or if they have a medical condition that puts them among the high-risk individuals in a COVID-19 facility.
Although WHO gives this precaution, a virtual briefing by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE), headed by Kate O'Brien, the director of immunisation, revealed that it has confidence in the therapy.
O'Brien clarified in a Reuters report that they are merely acknowledging that the data needed is not there yet. She stated that clinical trials of the vaccine were needed on pregnant women.
Moderna is submitting data for its application to be included in the WHO emergency use listing. O'Brien noted that they are doing everything with Moderna so as to accelerate the process.
Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines and are very similar except that Pfizer requires colder storage temperatures, which, according to O'Brien, might be difficult for some countries.
Health experts recommend that the Moderna vaccine be taken in two doses, 28 days apart. While 28 days is the recommended number, the gap between the first and second jab can be extended up to 42 days.
Alejandro Cravioto, panel chair of WHO from Mexico said that while the gap can be extended, the evidence that they have does not go beyond that. At present, the Moderna vaccine is administered at 0.5 ml per shot.
With concerns growing over pregnant women, WHO promised that it would also be working closely with the pharma in order to establish its safety when it comes to pregnant individuals.