An online document, which reads that the Covid Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, has gone viral on Twitter. We disentangle the true from the false.
Would the Pfizer laboratory itself have advised against vaccination against Covid-19 for pregnant women? In any case, this is the misleading assertion that has been circulating on social networks since May 4. Several Internet users hold up screenshots of a document written in English, on which one can read that the “COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine [le vaccin de Pfizer] is not recommended during pregnancy”. The document is sometimes relayed on social networks with a photo of Secretary of State Olivia Grégoire being vaccinated in July 2021 by Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health.
“Hidden” effects on pregnant women?
Among the theories, that according to which the laboratory would have “hid the effects” of its vaccine “on pregnant women”, that it would have lied about the effectiveness of its product which would actually be “12%” or that he knew his vaccine was causing a “weakened immune system“.
We read on this screenshot that “for women of childbearing age, pregnancy should be excluded before vaccination and that women of childbearing potential are advised not to avoid pregnancy for at least two months after their second dose“. Regarding breast-feeding, it is indicated that it is “not known whether the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 is excreted in human milk and a risk for newborns and infants cannot be excluded, therefore the vaccine should not be used during lactation.”
The #pfizerdocument show that they do not recommend vaccines to pregnant women, and do not know if this is transmitted to breast milk. “A risk to newborns, infants, cannot be excluded.” And they don’t know if there’s any risk on the #fertility ! pic.twitter.com/UmsbNcanWo
— Sarina (@79Sa_rina) May 6, 2022
Where do these documents actually come from?
This screenshot is from a document written by UK medicines regulatory authorities at the time the Pfizer vaccine entered the UK market on December 8, 2020. At that time, this category of the population was simply not eligible for vaccinationremember franceinfo. If it is well written in this document that the vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, it is due to a lack of studies published at the time on the subject.
The “Pfizer Documents” are not the result of a leak or any court decision against the laboratory, indicates TF1. They were not published by Pfizer, but by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), within a legal framework.
In summary, the so-called “revealed” or “leaked” documents are the result of a very classic procedure in the United States. Neither the FDA nor Pfizer was forced to do so. The medical agency simply responded to a legal obligation, before being imposed, by justice, a tight schedule.
What is recommended today for pregnant women?
Since then, the British authorities have modified their information document concerning the vaccine produced by Pfizer. In the latest version, May 5, 2022, it reads “that administration of the COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine during pregnancy should only be considered when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to mother and fetus.”
Regarding breastfeeding, it is stated that it is “unknown whether the COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine is excreted in human milk.” There is therefore no longer any contraindication to vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as is the potential risk for the child. The WHO indicates for its part that “vaccinating a nursing mother against COVID-19 poses no risk to her childand that it “could even help protect their baby from infection with the virus.”
In France, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) also recommends vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding women and indicates that “to date, no signal has been identified in pregnant and breastfeeding women with all of the vaccines against Covid-19 available in France”.
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