Covid-19 vaccination crucial in protecting pregnant women from risk of serious illness – NHS region’s Chief Midwife
The NHS region’s Chief Midwife is urging mums across the North East and Yorkshire to come forward and take up their Covid-19 vaccine to safeguard themselves and their babies.
Dr Tracey Cooper’s call comes as research shows pregnant women are more likely to become seriously ill from Covid-19, and nationally 98 per cent of those in hospital due to Covid-19 are unvaccinated.
“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the known risks of Covid-19 in pregnancy for both mother and baby, including admission to intensive care and premature birth,” Dr Cooper said.
Latest figures showed the number of pregnant women being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 was increasing and many in need of care were experiencing serious symptoms, Dr Cooper added.
“Whether you’re pregnant, think you might be, or you are trying for a baby, we encourage you to take up the offer of a vaccine and get protected against Covid-19,” she said.
“Vaccination is considered safe at any time before, during or after pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and is recommended as one of the best defences against severe infection by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives.”
NHS data shows nearly 20% of the most critically ill Covid patients in hospital are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. One in five Covid patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine (ECMO), since July, were expectant mums who had not had their first jab.
Advice for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding is available here. If you are 40 or over, and booking your Covid-19 vaccination on the National Booking Service you’ll be asked if you are pregnant; this is to help the NHS find the right appointments for you.
Dr Cooper added:
“The Covid-19 vaccine, like those for flu and whooping cough, is one more vaccine women can have to protect themselves and their baby from severe illness.
“It is not a ‘live’ vaccine, and cannot give you or your baby Covid-19 infection. The antibodies your own body produces in response to the vaccine can also give your baby protection against Covid-19.”
If you’re expecting and you haven’t had yours yet, make a booking here: nhs.uk/covidvaccine
This post is based on a press release issued by NHS Leeds