With winter now firmly on its way and Coronavirus rates spreading across the UK, it has never been a scarier time to be pregnant – particularly for woman who have not had their vaccination and are unsure whether they are safe to do so or not.
Recent news reports urged pregnant women to get vaccinated with data suggesting a worrying rise in Covid-19 hospital admissions among unvaccinated pregnant women in the UK. This information suggested that an overwhelming majority (98%) of 171 pregnant women hospitalised with Coronavirus since mid-May had not received a Covid-19 vaccine compared to three women who had received one dose and no fully vaccinated women.
However, we have all been brought up to believe that it’s best to avoid medication during pregnancy and this leaves expectant mums with the burden of weighing up protecting themselves and whether this potentially puts their unborn child at risk.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is clear in its message – that pregnant women should get vaccinated suggesting that it is the best way to protect against known risk of Covid-19 in pregnancy for both women and babies.
It suggests that women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccinations will affect fertility.
Having a Covid-19 vaccine does not remove the requirement for employers to carry out a risk assessment for pregnant employees and should follow rules set out in government guidance.
Is there evidence that Covid-19 vaccines cause miscarriage or stillbirth?
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK system for collecting and monitoring information on safety concerns; and reports that the number of miscarriages and stillbirth are low in relation to the number of pregnant women who have received the Covid-19 vaccines to date.
It says there is no pattern from reports to suggest that any of the Covid-19 vaccines used in the UK, or any reactions to these vaccines increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Help with decision making
Ultimately, the decision about whether to have the vaccination lies with you and the following resources may help you with your decision:
UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS) monograph on non-live vaccination in pregnancy
UK Health Security Agency (formally Public Health England) information for womenof childbearing age, currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding