If You’re Pregnant Don’t Delay Getting your COVID-19 Jab

Living Magazines COVID-19 Vaccination Centre

Local maternity experts are urging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine as national figures show a  continued rise in the number of unvaccinated pregnant women being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and many  experiencing complications.

According to recent figures from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System from the last three months, 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-19 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-19 symptoms were also admitted to neonatal units.

In contrast data published last week by NHS England and the University of Oxford shows that no pregnant women  who have had both doses of a vaccine have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Only 3 have been admitted  after having their first dose, meaning 98% of those admitted to hospital have not received a jab.

Jasmine Leonce, Clinical Director for Obstetrics from Hertfordshire and West Essex Local Maternity and Neonatal  System said: ‘Pregnant women are more at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19, particularly people who  are in the later stages of pregnancy or people at any stage of their pregnancy who have underlying health conditions.  We’re seeing more pregnant women in our hospitals who are very sick with COVID-19. They are more likely to suffer  complications such as premature birth and still birth.

‘Having both doses of the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your baby from the virus. If you’re unsure  about having the vaccine or if you’ve had one dose and aren’t sure about having the second, please speak to your  doctor or midwife so you can get advice and make a decision that’s right for you.’

One Hertfordshire mum, Nadia, recently made the decision to get her vaccine after speaking to her midwifery team  and researching information online. ‘When trying for a baby and becoming pregnant, you are faced with many  choices to make to ensure that you and your baby can be as fit and healthy as possible. When the time came around  for me to get the vaccine, I really didn’t know what to do. I spoke to my midwives at my appointment and they  reassured me and gave me links to official online information. I spent the evening and weekend researching a range  of different resources with my husband and felt reassured that having the vaccine would protect myself and my baby.

‘Choosing whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine was such a big decision to make and I am really pleased with the  decision I made.’

With more than 55,000 pregnant women in the UK and 130,000 in the US having had their vaccine, the Royal  College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Midwives and the Joint Committee on Vaccination  and Immunisation are recommending women come forward for their jab as the safest and most effective way to get  protection from the virus.

There are many locations across Hertfordshire and west Essex where people can get their vaccine. People can book  an appointment via the National Booking Service online at www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination or  by calling 119 between 7am and 11pm and patients can also book through their GP. Locations and opening times for  walk-in centres and vaccination pop-up clinics and the vaccines on offer at each are on the Healthier Future website,  covid.healthierfuture.org.uk, which also has other useful information.

There are useful resources on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ website www.rcog.org.uk and on the Hertfordshire and West Essex website covid.healthierfuture.org.uk.