NHS urges pregnant women not to delay Covid vaccination

Covid vaccination

Only children at higher risk from coronavirus infection are to be offered a Covid vaccine in the UK. - Credit: Getty Images

NHS officials have urged pregnant women not to delay their Covid vaccination to protect themselves and their babies from the virus.

Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging pregnant women to have the vaccination after national figures showed a rise in the number being admitted to hospital with Coronavirus.

It comes after data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System showed that 98pc of pregnant women who were hospitalised with the virus between May and the end of July had not had a jab.

During the same period, no pregnant women who have had both doses of the vaccine were admitted to hospital, while only three were admitted after having their first vaccine.

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Professor Sarah Gilbert, a graduate of the UEA, has overseen the development of an effective coronavirus vaccine - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nicola Lovett, the CCG’s lead midwife, said: “National figures show a continued rise in the number unvaccinated pregnant women who are being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, many of which go onto experience complications.

"That is why we are encouraging all pregnant women who haven’t yet had the jab to arrange an appointment today to protect themselves and their baby.

“Evidence shows that pregnant women are more at risk of getting seriously unwell with the virus, particularly if they have underlying health conditions or are in the later stages of pregnancy.

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"Having the vaccine is the best way to keep themselves safe, and to reduce the risk of potential complications.

“We understand that some women may have questions or be unsure about having the vaccine, and would urge them to talk to their doctor or midwife so that they can get advice and make a decision that’s right for them.”

Sophie Smith, 18, from North Walsham was among those to attend the walk-in vaccine centre at Market

All UK adults have been given the chance to get their first Covid vaccine. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Evidence also shows pregnant women are at higher risk of becoming severely ill from Covid, with around one in ten who are admitted to hospital with symptoms needing intensive care and one in five giving birth prematurely.

In the last three months, one in three pregnant women in hospital with COVID-19 in England required additional respiratory support, with more than a third developing pneumonia, and around one in seven needing intensive care.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives both recommended pregnant women to take the vaccine, while the independent JCVI has also confirmed the jab is effective and safe for women carrying a baby.

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