Pregnant women will be offered COVID-19 vaccinations in the UK

on 19 April 2021

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced that pregnant women will be offered the COVID-19 vaccination in the UK.

Pregnant women will be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine based on their age and clinical risk group.

The offering of a vaccine to pregnant women in the UK comes following a study of 90,000 pregnant women in the US taking the vaccination and posing no safety concerns.

Previously pregnant women were advised not to take the vaccine due to lack of data on the impact.

The decision has come shortly after the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) presented evidence to the JCVI on the impact of COVID-19 for pregnant women, leading to the JCVI recommending that all pregnant women be offered the vaccination in line with priority groups.

Consultant Obstetrician and COVID-19 vaccine lead for RCOG, Professor Lucy Chappell, said: “The announcement from the JCVI brings the UK in line with the US and other counties who have been offering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women since December, and should provide reassurance to pregnant women, as well as those planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, that vaccination is an option for them.

“We are continuing to work with the healthcare professionals so they are able to counsel pregnant women on the risks and benefits of having the COVID-19 vaccine based on their individual circumstances.

The result of the decision means that pregnant women are able to make their own choice about whether to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

Director for Professional Midwifery and COVID-19 lead at the Royal College of Midwives, Dr Mary Ross-Davie added: “This is a sensible step by the Committee and one we welcome. It empowers pregnant women to make their own decisions about whether or not to receive the vaccine. Ultimately it will be a woman’s choice and midwives and obstetricians will be there to support them to make an informed decision that is right for them.”