Large Canadian study suggests COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe to use in pregnancy – News-Medical.Net
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe to use in pregnancy and pregnant women experienced lower rates of health events post vaccination than similarly aged, non-pregnant vaccinated people, suggests a large Canadian study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected pregnant women, who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease compared with similarly aged non-pregnant individuals. COVID-19 vaccines were recommended for use in pregnancy in many countries early on in vaccine deployment, based on established prior safety of inactivated vaccines in pregnancy and reassuring data from the small number of pregnancies occurring during pre-authorization vaccine trials.
This study is one of the first to look at vaccine side effects in a group of vaccinated pregnant women at the same time as both an unvaccinated pregnant group and a vaccinated non-pregnant group to enable comparisons between the three.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout there was low vaccine uptake among pregnant people due to concerns about data availability and vaccine safety. There still is lower than average uptake among non-pregnant women of reproductive age. Large, observational studies like ours are crucial for proper understanding of the rates of adverse health events in pregnant women after different doses of COVID-19 vaccination. This information should be used to inform pregnant women about the side effects they may experience in the week following vaccination.”
Dr Manish Sadarangani from the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and first author on the study
This new study, from The Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) Network, looked at data from participants across seven Canadian provinces and territories between December 2020 and November 2021. All vaccinated participants were asked to self-report any health events during the seven days following each dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The unvaccinated pregnant control group was asked to record any health problems over the seven days before they filled out the survey. In total, 191,360 women aged 15-49 years with known pregnancy status completed the first dose survey and 94,937 completed the second dose survey.
A ‘significant health event’ was defined as a new or worse health event which was enough to cause the participant to miss school/work, require medical consultation and/or prevent daily activities in the previous seven days. ‘Serious health event’ was defined as any event resulting in an emergency department visit and/or hospitalization in the previous seven days.
The researchers found that 4.0% (226/5,597) of mRNA-vaccinated pregnant females reported a significant health event within seven days after dose one of an mRNA vaccine, and 7.3% (227/3,108) after dose two. The most common significant health events after dose two in pregnant females were a general feeling of being unwell, headache/migraine, and respiratory tract infection.
In comparison, 3.2% (11/339) of pregnant unvaccinated participants reported similar events in the seven days prior to survey completion. In the vaccinated non-pregnant control group, 6.3% (10,950/174,765) reported a significant health event in the week after dose one and 11.3% (10,254/91,131) after dose two. Serious health events were rare in all groups (fewer than 1%) and occurred at similar rates in vaccinated pregnant individuals, vaccinated non-pregnant people and unvaccinated controls after dose one and dose two.
Miscarriage/stillbirth was the most frequently reported adverse pregnancy outcome with no significant difference between the rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated women; 2.1% (7/339) of unvaccinated pregnant women and 1.5% (83/5,597) of vaccinated pregnant women experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth within seven days after dose one of any mRNA vaccine.
“The lower rate of significant health events amongst vaccinated pregnant people, compared with vaccinated non-pregnant individuals, is unexpected and requires more research. Previous studies on other vaccines in pregnant women have mostly reported no significant differences in health events between pregnant and non-pregnant women or have found higher rates in pregnancy. Further studies of non-COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are required to identify if the reduced side effects observed in pregnant people in this study is a feature of the mRNA vaccine platform, or of these specific vaccines.” says Dr Julie Bettinger, senior author on this paper and also from the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
The authors caution that most participants who reported ethnicity in this study were white and these data may therefore not be fully generalizable to other populations. Additionally, this study focused on health events occurring within the first seven days following vaccination and so cannot conclude anything about longer term reactions. However, longer-term follow-up of this cohort is ongoing. A further limitation of this study is that data are based on self-reports from study participants, without verification by medical records.
Writing in a linked comment, Dr Sascha Ellington and Dr Christine Olson from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA (who were not involved in the study) note, “These findings are consistent with and add to the growing body of evidence that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe during pregnancy. […] COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant people continues to be lower than among non-pregnant females of reproductive age. Given the risks of significant illness and adverse pregnancy outcomes, it is imperative that we continue to collect and disseminate data on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and to encourage healthcare providers to promote vaccination during all trimesters of pregnancy.”
Sadarangani, M., et al. (2022) Safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy: a Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) network cohort study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(22)00426-1.
MUHC opens Quebec's first multidisciplinary referral centre for endometriosis – McGill University Health Centre
Montreal, March 28, 2023 – The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is proud to launch Quebec’s first multidisciplinary referral centre for multisystem endometriosis. EndoCARES, or the Endometriosis Centre for the Advancement of REsearch and Surgery, aims to provide patients suffering from pain and infertility due to endometriosis with timely access to specialized diagnostic imaging, followed by multidisciplinary care based on individual needs.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial-like tissue (similar to the inner lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. Affecting about 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, it commonly causes infertility and debilitating pelvic pain, often severe enough to limit a woman’ s ability to carry out normal daily activities.
“While half of women with infertility and up to 70 per cent of those with chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis, studies show an average delay of seven years from the start of symptoms to diagnosis,” explains Dr. Togas Tulandi, chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the MUHC. “EndoCARES aims to significantly reduce this delay by uniting a team of gynecologic surgeons specialized in minimally invasive surgery – more specifically, in the removal of endometriosis lesions – along with other specialists, such as bowel surgeons, urologists, radiologists and fertility specialists, in a single patient-centered clinic.”
EndoCARES specialists come together regularly to discuss complex surgical cases and devise the best treatment strategies to offer patients. Meanwhile, a dedicated nursing staff provides continuity of care for the patients by facilitating the coordination of care between specialists and monitoring post-operative recovery following complex surgeries.
A centre of excellence
Drs. Dong Bach Nguyen and Andrew Zakhari, co-directors of the centre, both pursued additional training at renowned endometriosis hubs in Europe after completing minimally invasive surgery fellowships in Ottawa and Toronto respectively. As a result, patients treated at EndoCARES now benefit from innovative surgeries specific to endometriosis not previously offered in Quebec. “In Europe, several countries have established centres of excellence to provide specialized care to patients affected by endometriosis. Training in these centres allowed us to bring back not only new surgical techniques, but also the foundations to build an endometriosis referral centre for women with multi-organ endometriosis in Quebec,” explains Dr. Nguyen.
“The primary objective of this centre is to provide women with severe endometriosis affecting other organs like the bladder,bowel or diaphragm, with dedicated surgical and radiological expertise,” says Dr. Zakhari. Along with Drs. Srinivasan Krishnamurthy, Fady Mansour, Jessica Papillon-Smith and Togas Tulandi, this team of surgical gynecologists is committed to improving the care of Quebec women suffering from endometriosis.
Many questions remain unanswered
“Today, we still do not understand the exact cause of endometriosis, nor do we have a cure,” explains Dr. Tulandi, who is also an associate investigator at the Child Health and Human Development Program at the Research Institute of the MUHC.
Moving forward, EndoCARES aims to enhance basic, epidemiological and clinical research in endometriosis with the establishment of a patient registry that will function as a database for future research. Additionally, the program will facilitate international networking, collaborative research and the standardization of clinical practice through the exchange of ideas and experiences.
EndoCARES’ state-of-the-art clinical care and forthcoming research are made possible in part by generous donations made to the MUHC Foundation, which has pledged to raise $700,000 in support of personnel and equipment for the EndoCARES program.
“Endometriosis is very common and yet, so many women endure years of pain before receiving a diagnosis. This is completely unacceptable. The MUHC Foundation is proud to support the EndoCARES program, because it will change women’s health care for the better and reduce the pain and uncertainty so many women endure,” says Julie Quenneville, president and CEO of the MUHC Foundation.
Someone to reach out to
It took five long years before Anisa Gjoka was referred to Dr. Andrew Zakhari and diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis at 25 years old. “On February 8, 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, I finally had my surgery,” recounts Anisa. “After a four-hour surgery, and with only four small incisions, they were able to carefully remove the endometriosis lesions, leaving all of my organs intact!”
Today, at 28 years old, Anisa maintains a pain-free lifestyle, something that seemed unimaginable before entering under the expert care of Dr. Zakhari. “It gives me great peace of mind to know that EndoCARES exists – that there is finally someone for me to reach out to whenever I’m in need, and that the young women experiencing their first symptoms will be spared years of suffering and will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of experts, all in one place.”
About the McGill University Health Centre
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is one of the world’s foremost academic health facilities. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of its founding hospitals, the MUHC provides exceptional multidisciplinary patient-centric care in French and in English. Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of McGill University, the MUHC continues to shape the course of adult and pediatric medicine by attracting clinical and research expertise from around the world, assessing the latest in medical technology, and training the next generation of medical professionals. In collaboration with our network partners, we are building a better future for our patients and their families; for our employees, professionals, researchers and students; for our community and above all, for life. www.muhc.ca
McGill University Health Centre
Whooping cough on the rise across southwestern Ontario – Stthomastoday.ca
Several public health units in southwestern Ontario say there’s been a rise in cases of whooping cough across the region.
Residents in the Southwestern Public Health region are being urged to get vaccinated against the respiratory illness after 82 cases of whooping cough were recorded from January 2022 to the end of February.
Meantime, Huron Perth Public Health has confirmed at least 21 cases of the illness so far this year, compared to only three cases last year. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said last week that it counted 18 cases since November, 2022.
Written by: Ian McCallum
Niagara Health closing its COVID-19 assessment centre this Friday – Thorold News
Niagara Health’s COVID-19 assessment centre and COVID, cold and flu care clinics (CCFCC) will permanently close on Friday, March 31.
COVID-19 testing will be available at select pharmacies across the region, and the prescription drug Paxlovid will continue to be available through family physicians and at select pharmacies across the region. Remdesivir infusion therapy, which aids in treating COVID-19, will be available in the community.
Niagara Health’s first assessment centre opened on March 17, 2020, at our Niagara Falls Site and has since administered more than 327,000 swabs. The centres served as the primary screening and testing locations for COVID-19 in the region. The Niagara Falls centre is the final of the three to close.
Closing these operations will help our health human resources efforts by allowing teams to return to their regular work or to NH priorities and help address staffing pressures and support for those providing frontline care.
“Working with our partners, we also opened an additional temporary location in Niagara Falls to test hospitality and tourism sector workers,” says Zeau Ismail, director of interprofessional practice, research and education; director lead at COVID-19 assessment centre and COVID, cold and flu care clinic. “Community health-care professionals, including family physicians, stepped up to work at these centres, in addition to a number of redeployed hospital staff and physicians.”
Niagara Health, along with partnering members of the Niagara Ontario Health Team-Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ÉSON), operated five CCFCCs to test, assess and provide treatment for people with COVID-19 and other cold and flu-like illnesses. Since opening in 2022, the CCFCCs and Niagara Health’s clinical assessment centre have had more than 1,900 visits.
After March 31:
- If a person has symptoms of a respiratory illness, they are encouraged to call their primary care provider if they have one as the first option for guidance and care.
- If someone develops severe symptoms, they are urged to go to their nearest emergency department or call 9-1-1.
“We are incredibly grateful to our staff, physicians and partners, both on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who helped make the ACs and CCFCCs possible throughout our fight against COVID-19,” says Ismail.
First Citizens acquires troubled Silicon Valley Bank – CP24
Player grades: Edmonton Oilers survive scrambly affair in Arizona, pull out 5-4 win – Edmonton Journal
iOS 16.4—Apple Just Gave iPhone Users 33 Reasons To Update Now – Forbes
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
News15 hours ago
Grocery rebate coming in federal budget 2023
Tech12 hours ago
Is Shimano about to ditch derailleur hangers? Patent reveals direct-mount derailleur design
Health12 hours ago
Respiratory Outbreak Over: Jasper Place – Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Real eState16 hours ago
JPMorgan says commercial real estate decline is intensifying. Beware these exposed stocks
Sports13 hours ago
Maple Leafs clinch playoff berth with Panthers loss to Senators
Tech14 hours ago
Warner Bros brawler Multiversus to go offline in June 2023
Sports14 hours ago
Canadian Bianca Andreescu retires from Miami Open match after suffering injury
Investment14 hours ago
Sen. Bob Casey oversaw Pa. pension investment in China-linked firm