Covid vaccinations: Pregnant women and nurses encourage mums-to-be to get jabs

Expectant mums and nurses at Queen Alexandra Hospital are encouraging pregnant women to get the Covid-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their baby.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 4:46 pm

New data shows, nationally, most pregnant women hospitalised with the virus have not had the vaccine.

Figures also revealed that no pregnant women with both doses of the vaccine had been admitted to hospital.

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Emily Reed, left and Aimee Styles, who are both pregnant and have had a Covid jab

Aimee Styles had her first Covid-19 Pfizer vaccination at 14 weeks pregnant while at 22 weeks pregnant Emily Reed has had both doses.

Aimee, from Denmead, is expecting a baby girl on New Year’s Eve. The 31-year-old decided to have the vaccine at 14 weeks after reading medical research and getting advice from healthcare professionals.

She said: ‘For me getting the Covid-19 vaccine was about protecting myself and my baby and reducing the risk of getting Covid-19. It is important to feel comfortable with your decision, but I think there is lot of misleading information out there on social media and it is important to speak to doctors and your midwife. I also read a lot of medical journals and research around the data and I would advise other pregnant mums to get advice from the experts if they are a bit worried.

‘My sister-in-law is also pregnant at the moment and we chatted about the advice I had got, and she is getting her vaccine now as well to protect herself and her baby.’

Grab a jab

Aimee is getting her second vaccine next week and is looking forward to welcoming her first child in the new year.

Emily is expecting her second child and received her first vaccine at eight weeks pregnant.

The 32-year-old from Southampton said: ‘I was invited to have my first vaccine and I told them that I was pregnant. They passed me over to a nurse for advice who was helpful and told me it was fine to have the Pfizer jab to protect me.

‘It is a personal choice but for me it was not worth the risk knowing that Covid could mean that I or my baby could be unwell and need admitting to hospital.’

In the last three months alone, one in three pregnant women in hospital with Covid-19 in England required additional respiratory support (33%), with more than a third developing pneumonia (37%), and around one in seven needing intensive care (15%).

The data also shows that one in five women admitted to hospital with serious Covid symptoms went on to give birth prematurely, and the likelihood of delivery by caesarean section doubled. One in five babies born to mothers with Covid symptoms were also admitted to neonatal units.

Clinical lead midwife for public health at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and prevention lead for SHIP maternity (Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth) Debbie Hill said: ‘Thousands of women have received the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy with no reported ill effects and the vaccine is also safe to have if you are breast feeding.

‘It is known that the Covid-19 vaccine does not cross the placenta, but the antibodies you make do, helping to protect your baby and recent studies have shown that no pregnant women that had had both of her vaccines had been admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

‘Vaccines save lives and getting the Covid-19 jab can keep you and your baby safe and out of hospital.’

Data from the United States shows that more than 130,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated without any safety concerns being raised and more than 55,000 pregnant women in the UK have also received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Based on this data, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised earlier this year that pregnant women should be offered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Any pregnant women who have questions or concerns about the vaccine can speak to their GP, midwife or obstetrician to get more information and advice.

To book a jab appointment visit the NHS National Booking Service website or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.

The News launched the Grab a Jab campaign in a bid to increase the vaccination rate in Portsmouth, which is lower than neighbouring areas.