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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Pregnant Women Urged To Come Forward For COVID-19 Vaccine Across Cheshire and Merseyside

The Cheshire & Merseyside Health Care Partnership has joined the call for pregnant women to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

England’s top midwife, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, is today urging expectant mums to get the Covid-19 vaccine after new data shows the overwhelming majority of pregnant women hospitalised with the virus have not had a jab.

She has also written to fellow midwives and GP practices across the country stressing the need to encourage pregnant women to get the jab to protect them and their baby.

Director of the Cheshire and Merseyside Vaccine Programme, Jayne Wood has echoed the call, reminding women that getting the Covid-19 vaccine is the best way to protect them and their unborn children.

She said: “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect you and your baby against COVID-19. It really is that simple. Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women worldwide have been vaccinated, safely and effectively protecting themselves against COVID and dramatically reducing their risk of serious illness or harm to their baby.

 “It’s so important for pregnant women to get their jab, particularly with the virus being so prevalent and the Delta variant proving itself to be so much more transmissible. If you have questions, talk to your midwife, talk to your obstetrician, talk to your GP. Get the answers you need and get the jab.”

 The new national figures, released today, also reveal that no pregnant women with both doses of the vaccine had been admitted to hospital.

 Since May, just three women had been admitted after having their first vaccine. In contrast, almost all (98%) pregnant women admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had not been jabbed.

Dr Angela Kerrigan, Consultant Midwife at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “The vaccine is the safest and most effective way for mums to protect themselves and their baby from COVID-19. The vaccine has been shown to be effective and safe for women carrying a baby. Having the vaccine takes seconds. In some cases there may be some mild side-effects, as with many other vaccines but this is minimal in comparison to the symptoms of COVID-19.

“As a midwife, I would encourage mums to get the vaccination and ensure they have both doses to protect themselves and their unborn baby. If anyone has any concerns or needs any further information, they should speak to their midwife, GP or an obstetrician.”

Mum-of-three Sian Howard, 29, who lives in Wallasey in Wirral had her first dose while she was pregnant and is awaiting her second dose. She gave birth to her daughter Liara-Mae Simpson on 24th June. She wanted to have the vaccine as she has two daughters, Sophia Howard, aged 7 and Olivia Howard, aged 6, who both have the metabolic disorder propionic-acidemia.

Sian said: “I’ve got two disabled little girls. I got the vaccine to protect them and anyone vulnerable. It can limit the seriousness of COVID-19. I feel like I’ve done everything I can to prevent my children from getting it and to keep my children safe.

“I was scared of catching COVID in my third trimester so I wanted to get the vaccine. I only had a sore arm. I’d rather be ill for a few days from the vaccine than catch COVID.”

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

Since April, pregnant women have been offered the jab in line with their age cohort, and health leaders are calling on more younger adults to come forward and close the uptake gap.

 The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives have both recommended vaccinations as one of the best defences for pregnant women against severe COVID-19 infection, while the independent JCVI confirms the jab has been shown to be effective and safe for women carrying a baby. 

 Whilst broadly in line with the current rise in hospital admissions due to coronavirus, the new data, collated by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS), shows the number of pregnant women being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is increasing and many needing care are experiencing acute symptoms.

 

Real-world 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 COVID-19 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. Even if they have previously declined the vaccine, they can book an appointment to get their jab on the NHS National Booking Service website or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.

ENDS

 

Background

  • Between 16 May and 11 July, 171 (98%) pregnant women were admitted to hospital with COVID symptoms. None had been fully vaccinated and three (2%) had received a single dose of vaccine.
  • Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both mother and baby, including admission to intensive care and premature birth.
  • JCVI guidance on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines when given in pregnancy is here: The safety of COVID-19 vaccines when given in pregnancy - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with JVCI guidance if booked through the National Booking System.
  • Nearly 200,000 pregnant women in the UK and US have received a COVID-19 vaccine with no safety concerns raised:
  • 130,000 pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine it the US
  • 51,000 pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine in England
  • 4,000 pregnant women have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Scotland
  • We know that COVID-19 can cause severe illness in pregnant women and can be dangerous for the baby:
  • More than half of women who test positive for COVID-19 in pregnancy have no symptoms but some pregnant women can get life-threatening illness from COVID-19, particularly if they have underlying health conditions.
  • In the later stages of pregnancy, women are at increased risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19.
  • 1 in 10 pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 need intensive care.
  • 1 in 5 women admitted to hospital with serious COVID symptoms went on to give birth prematurely, and the likelihood of delivery by caesarean section doubled.
  • 1 in 5 babies born to mothers with COVID symptoms were also admitted to neonatal units
  • Almost 70 million vaccinations have been delivered by the NHS in England since making history when Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry, in December 2020.
  • The NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, fastest in Europe and most precise in the world, has already delivered almost 70 million jabs protecting including nearly 39 million people with a first dose and more than 29 million who are fully vaccinated after receiving both doses.
  • Everyone aged 18 or over is now eligible for a lifesaving Covid-19 jab and the NHS is urging people to come forward as soon as possible booking via nhs.uk or visiting their nearest walk-in centre.
  • Second doses are available to people who had their first dose eight weeks ago, in line with JCVI guidance with more than two thirds of the adult population already double jabbed.
  • From high street shops to mosques and sports grounds, our incredible staff together with our wonderful volunteers are doing all they can to make sure it is easier than ever for people, particularly young adults to get protected.
  • Getting your Covid-19 vaccine as well as that vital second dose is the best thing you can do to protect you, your loved ones and your community against coronavirus.

 

For media enquiries contact Dan Grice on 07939963219 / daniel.grice2@nhs.net