MONTREAL -- Pregnant people in Quebec who wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19 can make an appointment starting Wednesday morning, before vaccinations open to the general population.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) gave the green light on Tuesday to the vaccination of pregnant people following the recommendations of the Immunization Committee at the Quebec Institute of Public Health (INSPQ).

For pregnant people, the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be preferred, because there is more scientific evidence that they are safe during pregnancy.

The health department reminds pregnant women who may be reluctant to receive vaccine protection that if they catch COVID-19, their risk of giving birth to a premature baby will increase. In addition, if the pregnant person has diabetes, obesity, heart problems or other health problems, the risk of pre-term delivery is even greater, making vaccination even more important.

For those who are planning to become pregnant in the near future, the INSPQ recognizes the lack of scientific data available to provide clear advice. Nevertheless, it is considered prudent to delay pregnancy for at least 28 days after the two doses of vaccine.

However, it is believed that the expected benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential risks for those planning a pregnancy.

In early March, the Ontario government became the first in Canada to give priority to pregnant people in a vaccine rollout plan, with no strings attached.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2021.