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Pregnant women can be vaccinated against COVID-19, says government

Taking a major decision in the war against coronavirus, the government on Friday announced that pregnant women can also be vaccinated for the virus.

Addressing a press conference on behalf of the Union Health Ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said, “The Ministry of Health has given guidelines that the vaccine can be given to the pregnant woman.”

“The vaccine is useful for the pregnant woman and it should be given,” he added.

Dr Bhargava said that in terms of administering COVID-19 vaccines to children is still debatable until relevant data is available.

“There is only one country that is giving vaccines to children at the moment. Whether very small children will ever need vaccines, is still a question. Till such time, we have more data on vaccination of children, we would not be in a position to vaccinate children at large,” the ICMR director said.

“However, we have started a study on children between 2 years to 18 years and we will have a result on it by September,” he added.

During the conference, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr SK Singh informed that a total of 48 cases of Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 coronavirus have been detected in the country so far.

Dr Singh said, “Eight states are important where we have found more than 50 per cent of the variant of concern. These are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal.”

“Covidshield and Covaxin work against the variants of SARS CoV 2 — alpha, beta, gamma as well as delta. Delta Plus is present in 12 countries. As many as 48 cases have been identified in India but more importantly, they have been very localised,” Dr Bhargava said regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19.

Delta Plus or AY.1 will always remain a variant of concern (VoC) as it is mutated from the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which is also a VoC, he added.

(With ANI inputs)

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