‘Get vaccinated to protect your baby’ plea to pregnant women in Leeds

Pregnant women in Leeds are being urged to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and their unborn baby against the serious effects of COVID-19.

COVID-19 increases the risk of still birth and giving birth prematurely, as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia. However, according to recent data, only 56% of pregnant women in Yorkshire and the North East have been vaccinated and just 42% have had both doses.

Local health chiefs are keen to make sure women are aware of the dangers Covid-19 can present to their baby and get protected as soon as possible.

Susan Gibson, Director of Midwifery at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We do understand that some women are concerned about having the vaccine when pregnant but want to reassure them that not only will it not harm their baby, it will actually protect both them and their baby from the serious effects that COVID-19 can cause. All the evidence has shown that it is safe to have the vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy or when you are trying to conceive so if you are pregnant and haven’t had your first or second dose, please book an appointment as soon as possible.”

As with all new medicines, the vaccine was not routinely offered to pregnant women at first but as further data became available, the JCVI was able to review this and confirmed that the vaccine was both safe and effective to take in pregnancy. This is supported by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives, which have both recommended vaccinations as one of the best defences for pregnant women against severe COVID-19 infection

Susan Gibson added: “I really can’t stress enough how important it is to get the vaccine if you are pregnant to protect both you and your baby. There has been a lot of misinformation about the vaccines, especially around pregnancy and conceiving so if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your midwife or GP to make sure you get accurate information.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the communications team at Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group: Leedsccg.comms@nhs.net

Notes to editor:

  • Pregnant women who were frontline health or care workers or in an at-risk group were offered the vaccine from December 2020. This was then extended to all pregnant women in April 2021.
  • The MHRA and JCVI are continuing to monitor data on COVID-19 vaccinations, including those in pregnancy.  Data from over 100,000 COVID vaccinations in pregnancy in England and Scotland, and a further 160,000 in the US, show there has been no subsequent harm to the foetus or infant.