Pregnant women encouraged to get vaccine

The NHS is encouraging pregnant women to get the coronavirus vaccine, as nearly 20 per cent of the most critically ill patients with coronavirus are unvaccinated pregnant women.

Data shows that, since July, one in five patients with coronavirus receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were expectant mums who have not had their first jab. Pregnant women have been treated with a therapy, called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), used only when a patient’s lungs are so damaged by coronavirus that a ventilator cannot maintain oxygen levels.

Out of all women between the ages of 16 and 49 on ECMO in intensive care, pregnant women make up almost a third (32 per cent) –  up from just six per cent at the start of the pandemic, March 2020.

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England, has reassured women that the vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy and is recommended by clinicians and charities, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives.

She said: “This is another stark reminder that the Covid-19 jab can keep you, your baby and your loved ones, safe and out of hospital. You can receive vaccination at any time in pregnancy, but the risks that unvaccinated pregnant women face of becoming severely unwell if they catch COVID-19 show exactly why we advise you to do so as soon as possible.”

Data from Public Health England showed that over 81,000 pregnant women have received the first dose of the jab, and around 65,000 have received their second dose.

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