On Thursday, an Israeli study was published, which stated that the coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech are completely safe for fetuses in pregnant women and did not have any harmful effects in newborns. Almost 17,000 pregnant women were examined in the study who had gotten vaccinated, along with 7,000 pregnant women who had not been inoculated. This had occurred between March and October 2021 and the data had been obtained from the largest HMO in Israel i.e. Maccabi Healthcare Services. The researchers had taken preterm births, birth defects, hospitalizations, and infant mortality into account and had not discovered a significant difference in any area between the two groups.
Both groups showed an infant mortality of about 0.1%, defects were about 1.5% in mothers who were vaccinated and 2.1% in those who were not. Preterm births were 4.2% for babies who had inoculated mothers and 4.8% for those who were not. There were 5.1% hospitalizations seen in newborns in vaccinated mothers and 5.3% in unvaccinated ones. The study also highlighted that similar findings had been seen in about 2,000 newborns where the mothers had gotten their vaccine in their first trimester, a period that is considered extremely sensitive for fetuses.
The Israeli study was published in JAMA Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed medical journal. Pregnant or lactating women had not been included in the initial trials of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. Even though there wasn’t much data, the Health Ministry in Israel had advised pregnant women last year to get their coronavirus vaccine, after there were some serious cases of pregnant women. A number of health authorities in other nations also followed the same approach. The numbers from the Health Ministry showed that out of the 9.5 million population in Israel, around 6,694,595 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Two doses of the vaccine have been administered to 6,110,026 and a third booster shot has been given to 4,452,732 people. The fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been given to 684,848 people, which had been made available to medical workers, the elderly, at-risk groups and military personnel. On Thursday evening, the Health Ministry published data that the number of serious patients has persisted, even though there has been a decline in morbidity in the last few days. The number of serious patients stood at 1,111. The highest number of serious cases since the start of the pandemic was seen on Sunday, when the number reached 1,263.
The total number of people who had to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus was about 2,479 and ministry data indicated that 346 of these people were in critical condition. According to the ministry, serious cases are more common amongst those who are unvaccinated. The test positivity rate was also about 25.13%, which was a slight increase, but still lower than what was seen on Saturday when the positivity rate had reached its highest since the start of the pandemic at 28.88%. There has also been a steady decline in the transmission rate.