Message from Julia Burrows, Barnsley Director of Public Health – 6 August 2021

As a former midwife and health visitor, I’m backing a call from England’s chief midwife Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent for expectant mums to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after new national data shows the overwhelming majority of pregnant women hospitalised with the virus have not had the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are recommended in pregnancy, as it’s the best way to protect against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy for both you and your baby.

You can discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with your midwife, obstetrician or GP to get the answers you need and reach a joint decision based on your individual circumstances.

New figures, collated by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System and released by the NHS, also reveal that across the country, no pregnant women with both doses of the vaccine have been admitted to hospital as a result of illness from COVID-19

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

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives have both recommended vaccination 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.

While broadly in line with the current rise in hospital admissions due to coronavirus, the new data shows the number of pregnant women being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is increasing and many needing care are experiencing acute symptoms.

In the last three months alone, one in three pregnant women in hospital with COVID-19 in England required additional respiratory support (33 percent), with more than a third developing pneumonia (37 percent), and around one in seven needing intensive care (15 percent).

If you are pregnant, it’s so important for you to get your vaccine, particularly with the virus being so prevalent and the Delta variant proving itself to be so much more transmissible.

Even if you have previously declined the vaccine, you can still can book an appointment to get your jab on the NHS National Booking Service website or by calling 119 between 7am and 11pm.

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