New campaign calls on pregnant women to get Covid-19 vaccine to reduce risk to babies
A new government campaign has been launched to encourage pregnant women to get their Covid vaccine and booster jab.
The campaign, which calls on expectant mothers not to wait to get their vaccine, comes after the Government warned that almost all pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid symptoms were unvaccinated.
It will highlight the risk of Covid-19 to both the mother and baby through testimonies of pregnant women who have had the vaccine which will be broadcast on radio and social media.
Why should pregnant women get the vaccine?
Of the pregnant women admitted to hospital with the virus symptoms between May and October 96.3% were unvaccinated, statistics from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System showed.
A third of these women required respiratory support.
Around one in five women admitted to hospital with the virus need to be delivered pre-term to help them recover, and one in five of their babies need care in the neonatal unit, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
“Getting a Covid-19 vaccine is one of the most important things a pregnant woman can do this year to keep herself and her baby as safe from this virus as possible,” Professor Lucy Chappell, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said.
She added: “We have extensive evidence now to show that the vaccines are safe and that the risks posed by Covid-19 are far greater.
“If you haven’t had your Covid-19 vaccine, I would urge you to speak to your clinician or midwife if you have any questions or concerns, and book in your vaccine as soon as you can.”
Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant women are safe and have no impact on fertility, the Government, alongside medical experts and institutions, say.
How many pregnant women have been vaccinated?
Around 84,000 pregnant women have received one dose of the vaccine since April 2021, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Over 80,000 expectant mothers have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
What does a pregnant woman advise?
Dr Jen Jardine, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, is seven months pregnant and has had her Covid-19 booster jab.
Dr Jardine encourages pregnant women to get the vaccine.
She said: “Both as a doctor and pregnant mother myself, we can now be very confident that the Covid-19 vaccinations provide the best possible protection for you and your unborn child against this virus.
“I would strongly call on all pregnant women like me, if you haven’t had the vaccine yet, to either speak to your GP or midwife if you still have questions and then book right away today.”