Public Health

COVID, Pregnancy and Official Misconceptions

It may interest readers to know that Benjamin Netanyahu got the first jab in Israel on December 19, 2020. That’s exactly nine months ago – the gestational period for a human baby. Pregnant women were not included in vaccine trials (see below). Thus, there is no information from clinical trials on reproductive risks and, by definition, we have no extensive and reliable information on the effect of vaccines on new-born babies and infants. We are flying blind; or at least with blurred vision.

A little caution is warranted you might think? Not a bit of it! This is from the Australian Government’s “COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for people (yes, that’s right, ‘people’, the collective word for men and women) who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.” It is version 5.1, dated August 19, 2021. Here are the so-described key points:

1/ Pregnant people are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination and should be routinely offered Comirnaty [Pfizer] at any stage of pregnancy.

2/ Those who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

3/ Real-world evidence has shown that Comirnaty is safe for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.

4/ COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be considered for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy, if they cannot access Comirnaty and if the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for that individual.

5/ Those who are pregnant have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

6/ Their babies also have a higher risk of being born prematurely.

7/ COVID-19 vaccination may provide indirect protection to babies by transferring antibodies through the placenta (for those who are pregnant) or through breast milk (for those who are breastfeeding).

The “real-world evidence” (# 3 above) relied upon, and I understand in the United States too, is predominantly the preliminary findings of a study published on the website of the New England Journal of Medicine on April 21, 2021, and later in the Journal’s June issue. This is the conclusion (emphasis added):

Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons [even women] who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. However, more longitudinal follow-up, including follow-up of large numbers of women vaccinated earlier in pregnancy, is necessary to inform maternal, pregnancy, and infant outcomes.”

It is also noted, apropos my point above, that “Pregnant persons were excluded from pre-authorization clinical trials, and only limited human data on safety during pregnancy were available at the time of authorization.

Subsequently, on September 8, the Journal published a letter on its website questioning the statistical methodology of the ‘preliminary findings’. The authors’ reply, published on the same date, accepted the validity of the criticism; which was pretty fundamental if you read it. But, no doubt after scrambling, the authors reported that further ad hoc research confirmed their conclusions. It seems very likely to me that the story is still unfolding.

At question, will the Government update its ‘COVID-19 decision guide’ in light of the exchange on the very piece of research on which it is mainly relying to tell pregnant women that the vaccine is safe? Maybe some scrambling is going on within the Department of Health.

Pardon me for being cautious but these (provisional and qualified) preliminary findings, which were ill-based at first and had to be retrofitted, seem scant evidence on which to hang the future of the human race. We treat pregnant women carefully. First, out of kindness and consideration, because women are more physically vulnerable during pregnancy. Second, because we know how vital it is to have healthy mothers and babies for our renewal and continued existence.

When I contracted shingles some years ago, I advised my youngest daughter, who was pregnant at the time, not to come around. There was a slim chance of passing on chicken pox. Equally, it is reasonable to be concerned about pregnant women catching COVID. But keeping safe is always a matter of balancing risks and benefits.

The process of balancing risks and benefits is aided by having extensive and reliable information. Experiments with rats (not humans) when it came to reproductive questions, abbreviated clinical trials and a limited track record means that information is scarce and potentially unreliable. And it bears emphasising that we don’t conduct real life experiments on pregnant women. Hence, they were not included in any of the clinical trials.

None of this is to say that pregnant women should not get vaccinated. They should decide that for themselves in consultation with their husbands and doctor and whoever else they care to talk. My point is that the official guidelines paint a picture of the state of knowledge which goes markedly beyond the available evidence. Seemingly, this is part of a headlong rush to have everyone vaccinated. Jab-a-Jab-jab, foetuses be damned. The stricture of ‘do no harm’ appears to have been brushed aside, as have treatments.

It would be nice, would it not, to have a recommended effective and safe therapy available for those who get sick from the virus, including pregnant women who may choose not to be vaccinated or who get sick anyway? Now, 20 months on from the start of the pandemic, there is still no standard treatment. And, as we know, possible treatments have been vilified instead of tested. What’s happening smacks of religion not science.

Here is a quote about the vaccination and revaccination policies from Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at University College London, which I found on the BBC’s website the other day:

Again, it’s like so many other things – you know that expression, we’re trying to build the aeroplane while we fly it, and doing it all as fast as we possibly can.

Out of the mouths of experts. Somehow Professor Altmann’s analogy doesn’t imbue me with confidence; yet, what he says seems only too true.

11 comments
  • Daffy

    I see our government has gone full insult on women. It is more than honourable to be a woman! Yet here we see yet another trivialisation of womanhood on behalf of the woman-deniers! It must be stopped. Write to your MP and express this in the most forthright terms. The long war against women (and by direct implication, child-bearing and family) must be stopped.

  • john2

    Heedless, reckless, mindless propaganda, pure and simple. How have we as a society been able to fall so far so quickly? How much further can we fall before we hit bottom?
    Increasingly, resisting vaccination for me has become primarily political, rather than a health issue. There must be enough of us who refuse to be cowed and blackmailed to reverse this madness. I haven’t given up hope yet.

  • Beta male

    I rang my local state member to register my disgust with mandates, passports, further lockdowns etc, and only got to speak with one of the office ladies. She was a bit of a smarty pants at first but when I started quoting the Govs own stats and data in response to everything she threw at me, she eased up and we ended up having a talk for 30mins.

    Take heart john2 around 80% of the people I talk to, whether vaccinated or not are against the mandates. When enough of their constituents call and start making noise, these political animals whose only desire is survival will start changing their tune.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    As for the Doherty modelling, Professor Doherty made some interesting comments on it last week.
    While it was a “great and an enormously intense exercise with very smart people involved”, he stressed that “models are experiments” based on “a lot of assumptions”.
    “We don’t know what’s going to happen next. We don’t know whether we are going to get what you call an ‘immune escape’ variant, like flu, where it will flow past the vaccines.”
    He hoped that “relative normality would return by the latter half of 2022.”
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2021/09/19/peter-doherty-covid-interview/

  • rosross

    Vaccines advocated and promoted by the Federal Government , according to current scientific knowledge and previous public statements:

    1. do not provide immunity to the SARS Cov-2 virus

    2. do not prevent the development of Covid-19

    3. May lead to shedding – causing variants and further cases

    4. are causing death and serious injury globally

    5. long term effects on the health of those jabbed are unknown

    6. have not undergone testing for safety

    7. may be characterised as a form of genetic modification and while called genetic vaccines by some, are more of a genetic treatment than a vaccine

    8. have not been tested for genotoxicity (TGA Freedom of Information)

    9. have not been tested to confirm carcinogenicity (TGA Freedom of Information)

    10. have not been tested to confirm the effects on fertility (TGA Freedom of Information)

    On January 25, 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Pfizer Australia to supply its mRNA vaccine named Cominarty, indicated for the prevention of Covid-19 in individuals 16 years and older.

    The provisional approval process allows for up to six years post-market validation. Such approval is therefore granted on limited safety and efficacy data.

  • STD

    Don’t trust the Government.

  • Rebekah Meredith

    john2,
    Spot on! Even if I were firmly convinced that these jabs are safe (which I most certainly am NOT), I have no intention of complying with such tyranny.

  • HD

    I am also refusing to be jabbed, no matter what they threaten me with.

  • Gerry

    Primum non nocere Peter. Sadly an anachronism in our effectively communist country. Why should the unborn be of any concern? The “person” in whom he or she gestates is the ultimate arbiter of his or her fate as he or she has no rights in our despicable society. Compulsory vaccination for “health care workers” has now been officially mandated by the Victorian Government, the Australian Constitution, the Nuremburg Code, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, etc – not in any particular order – notwithstanding. Accordingly I will be unemployed as of 15 October. A sad day for civilisation.
    Sic transit gloria mundi

  • Stephen Due

    If I were a woman I would be absolutely furious about being included as “people who are pregnant”. I’ve also seen the expression “person with a uterus” in a medical journal (of all places) when the word ‘woman’ could have been used. This is woke progressivism on parade.
    As far as the use of these vaccines in women of childbearing age is concerned, it really needs to be stopped. The Australian Government has no idea whether these vaccines are safe in the context of human reproduction. This is just one huge experiment, and young Australian women and their babies are the guinea pigs (or in this case the ferrets and humanized mice).

  • Stephen Due

    Incidentally there is also an unknown risk with vaccinating those whom I assume the government pen-pushers will be calling “people with immature reproductive organs”.

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