While COVID-19 clinical trials with pregnant and breastfeeding individuals are now underway, initial trials did not include these populations, and the risks and benefits of COVID-19 immunization for pregnant and breastfeeding people remain largely unknown. To fill the knowledge gap, UBC researchers have launched a COVID-19 vaccine registry and survey across Canada to collect real-time data on the impact of immunization on pregnant and breastfeeding individuals.
Working with researchers across the country, and with support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a UBC team is leading the national surveillance project, called CANCOVID-Preg. The project will provide those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, health care providers, the PHAC, National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), and provincial vaccine advisory committees with Canadian data on safety and effectiveness to guide decisions and recommendations. It will also address unknowns surrounding COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and lactation, such as the immune response generated and whether or not immunity is transferred to infants.
Experts in the field, including the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and NACI, recommend individuals be offered the COVID-19 vaccine anytime during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
The project is funded by the PHAC through the Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. It is being conducted in partnership with vaccine surveillance efforts across Canada, including CANVAS (https://canvas-covid.ca), a national web-based platform monitoring vaccine safety across all populations.
How to take part
People who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding are invited to register to take part in the vaccine study. Participants do not have to have received a COVID-19 vaccine, nor do they have to intend to receive the vaccine. To participate in the registry and survey, visit https://covered.med.ubc.ca.
For additional information about pregnancy and COVID-19, interim reports from the CANCOVID-Preg study can be found at https://ridprogram.med.ubc.ca/cancovid-preg.
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