The Health and Wellness Ministry is urging pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a statement, the Health and Wellness Ministry says that’s in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

It says evidence suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 are at higher risk of developing severe illness compared to non-pregnant women of reproductive age.

According to the Ministry, those include illnesses that require hospitalisation, intensive care, a ventilator or special equipment to breathe or illness that results in death.

It says COVID-19 in pregnancy has also been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth and of newborns requiring neonatal intensive care.

The Ministry says pregnant women are at higher risk if they are 35 years and older, have high body mass index, or have existing comorbidity, such as diabetes or hypertension.

The Ministry says like other people, pregnant women may experience mild temporary side effects including fatigue; chills, fever, headache, and nausea.

It says to help pregnant women determine whether to take the vaccine, the officials will be provided information about the risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy, the likely benefits of vaccination and the current limitations of safety data by their health care provider.