While Geeta Basra feels pregnant women should not risk vaccination, experts say it’s safe
Even as the government allows vaccination for lactating mothers, and mulls whether pregnant women should get inoculated, hesitations and apprehensions about it continue to persist.
While health experts are vouching for the shot, actor Geeta Basra is averse to the idea, reasoning that there’s not much known about the safety of the unborn child as well as the mother after taking the jab.
“There’s not enough study in that area. That’s because you can’t do studies on pregnant women. So, it’s too early for them to even give the go ahead,” she says.
Despite that, Basra — who is expecting her second baby with husband-cricketer Harbhajan Singh — reveals that some doctors are recommending expectant mothers to get the shot and she finds it wrong.
“No government or organisation yet has granted approval to vaccinate pregnant women. In fact, my gynecologist has strictly told me not to get vaccinated,” shares Basra, 37, adding, “It’s a huge risk towards the unborn baby. We don’t know what the implications will be in the future. So right now, I don’t think anyone would want to risk that.”
Instead, it’s important for the immediate family of the pregnant women to get the life-saving shot, so “there are less chances of her getting the virus”.
While Basra isn’t in favour of pregnant or lactating women getting vaccinated, experts think otherwise and call it safe.
“No adverse effect of vaccination has been found in pregnancy, or on the breastfeeding mothers. The antibodies against Covid do pass through the breast milk, so, it gives passive immunity to the baby as well,” notes gynaecologist Sheetal Kaushik, with doctor Gauri Agarwal, adding, “The jab is important to safeguard the mother from getting the infection and becoming a spreader.”
Moreover, as Basra’s delivery date is nearing, she’s experiencing a mix of emotions, from excitement to welcome a new member in their family, and sadness as she won’t be able to celebrate the moment with her mother.
“I don’t know if my mother will be able to come from London or not. It’s still very uncertain because of the crisis. And during such times, a girl needs her mother to be around, so I’m a bit sad about it,” Basra says, hoping for things to get better soon so that her mother can be by her side when she delivers her newborn.
Calling the current realities “bizarre and weird”, Basra also feels it’s crucial to set up counselling for children, who’d meet a different world when they step out after things get normal.
“It pains my heart to see that kids are missing out on such important years of their childhood. Their childhood is literally being taken away by the pandemic, where they can’t meet their friends, or go to school. My daughter (Hinaya) has never been to school, so she has no idea what it’s all about,” she says.
And that’s how the virus crisis is snatching away a lot from their development years, opines the actor.
“Humans are made to be interactive, and we’re social creatures. Sadly, kids are learning the opposite. I feel they should have counselling in school once they start going to school because it affects them mentally,” muses the mother of one, and continues, “They might not express it, but they should be able to express their emotions because if anyone has been affected more than us, it’s the kids.”
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