TORONTO -- The president of the Ontario Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is applauding the province's move to include pregnant women on its priority list of recipients in the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Dr. Constance Nasello says that although pregnant women were excluded from initial trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, there is increasing evidence that the vaccines are safe for them.

Ontario health authorities listed pregnancy as a factor putting someone at risk for hospitalization or death from COVID-19 as they released details of the province's vaccination plan Friday.

That means pregnant women would be eligible for a vaccine during the second phase of the vaccine rollout.

Nasello says there's evidence indicating that while many people who contract COVID-19 while pregnant have mild symptoms, pregnancy is a risk factor for more severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.

Saskatchewan is the only other province to explicitly include pregnant people in its priority list for vaccines, listing pregnant women with significant heart disease in the second phase of the provincial vaccination plan.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2021.