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Pregnant women in Ontario moved to highest risk category for vaccine eligibility

Last Updated Apr 23, 2021 at 9:11 am EDT

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Pregnant women are now able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as the province moved pregnancy from the at-risk category of health conditions to the highest risk category for vaccine eligibility.

The change will be effective as of Friday.

“In response to emerging data on the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant women, all pregnant individuals will be eligible to register for vaccination appointments under the highest risk health conditions in the Phase 2 prioritization guidance,” the Ontario Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Pregnant women will be able to book an appointment through the provincial call centre at 1-888-999-6488. However, those residing in a public health unit (PHU) that is not using the provincial booking system will have to contact their local PHU. The province said they don’t need to provide a letter from a health care provider.

Pregnancy was originally announced as part of the third tier of health condition or the “at-risk” category with vaccine eligibility estimated to be in mid-May.

One of the largest reports on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy was published Wednesday by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and bolstered evidence that it is safe, although the authors did say more comprehensive research is needed.

RELATED: What pregnant women need to know about COVID-19 variants and vaccines

The preliminary results are based on reports from over 35,000 U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant.

Their rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications were comparable to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic.