Pregnant women urged to get COVID-19 vaccinations as hospitalisations increase

on 26 July 2021

Pregnant women are being encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccination as cases of hospitalisations increase.

The data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that 51,724 pregnant women have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, with 20,648 receiving both doses.

Last week, 95 per cent of pregnant women who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

In April 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that pregnant women could be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “It is brilliant to see so many pregnant women coming forward for their COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring they protect themselves and their babies from this awful virus.

“While uncommon, severe illness from COVID-19 is more likely in later pregnancy and infection increases the risk of premature birth. The COVID-19 vaccines are one of the best defences against infection, preventing at least 11.7 million infections in England alone. I urge everyone – including pregnant women – to get their vaccines as soon as they can.”

Pregnant women who do get symptomatic COVID-19 infection are two to three times more likely to give birth prematurely.

JCVI advise that pregnant women receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Data from PHE shows the vaccination programme has directly averted 52,600 hospitalisations.

Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Gill Walton, said: “So often, we mark out pregnancy landmarks in weeks, what size the baby is at 12 weeks or 22. Now we have a new landmark – 8 weeks between the first jab and the second. If you have any concerns or any questions, speak to your midwife who will help you make the right decision for you and your baby.”

RCM has a useful webinar for midwives and maternity support workers on COVID-19 vaccinations. View the webinar here.

You can also find the latest guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy Guidance here.