Pregnant Woman made a priority
NHS Health Chiefs declared last week that pregnant women were now part of the priority group that need to get their booster vaccine as soon as they are eligible.
Pregnant women are also being reassured by the NHS in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) that having the COVID-19 vaccination is the best and safest way to protect them and their baby from the serious complications that can be caused by the virus, and the that booster increases this protection.
The risk of serious complications is low but a recent study of more than 340,000 births in England by the National Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Audit found:
- Women who tested positive for COVID-19 around the time of birth were twice as likely to have a stillbirth (8.5 in every 1000 births, compared with 3.4 in every 1000 births)
- The rate of premature birth was twice as high when the mother had COVID-19 at the time of birth (12% compared with 5.8%)
- Women who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to have an emergency caesarean birth compared with those who didn’t have COVID-19 at birth (27.6% compared to 18.5%)
Research by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System found that none of the 742 pregnant women who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between 1 February and 11 July 2021 were fully vaccinated. Four women had received one dose and the other 738 were unvaccinated.
During the same time period at least 55,000 pregnant women had received one or more doses in the UK.
Jayne Pigott, BLMK Public Health Midwife said “One of the main messages I would like to get out to our mums to be is that if they turn up at a mass vaccination centre without an appointment during the walk-in times, they will be fast-tracked to the front of the queue. Just make yourselves known to the staff when you arrive, and they will sort it out. It doesn’t matter if you are there for your 1st, 2nd or booster dose, if you are pregnant you don’t have to queue!
“And, thanks to our public health teams in Bedfordshire and Luton, any pregnant women who have difficulty in getting to a vaccination centre can book a free vaccination taxi – details are on the Council websites.”
Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti, Clinical Lead Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group agreed, adding: “In recent weeks we have held a webinar with pregnant mums and women planning a pregnancy to give them information about the vaccine so they can make an informed choice. There is plenty of advice on the BLMK website, on our pregnancy and vaccinations page including the latest advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.”
For details of walk-in first, second and booster dose vaccination sites, and opening times please visit the BLMK COVID-19 drop-in vaccination web page. Alternatively, people can book their first, second or booster doses over the phone by calling 119 or by logging on to the NHS website.
For further information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in BLMK visit: www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/covid-19.