England’s chief midwife is urging expectant mums to get a Covid jab after research showed the vast majority of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid are unvaccinated.
Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief midwifery officer for England, said the figures are “another stark reminder” that the jabs can keep women and their babies safe from Covid and out of hospital.
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At a glance: 5 key points
- Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent is telling GPs and midwives across the country to encourage mums to get jabbed
- Scientists said more than 99% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with the virus have not been vaccinated – with the Delta variant of coronavirus posing a significantly greater risk of severe disease
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives recommend that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy get their Covid vaccine as soon as possible
- Researchers at Oxford University have described their findings as “concerning”, saying that one in 10 pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of Covid often require intensive care
- Around 200 pregnant women were admitted to hospital with Covid last week
What’s been said
“Vaccines save lives, and this is another stark reminder that the Covid-19 jab can keep you, your baby and your loved ones, safe and out of hospital.”
She added: “I am calling on pregnant women to take action to protect themselves and their babies and on my fellow midwives to ensure they have the information they need to do so.”
“It is extremely good news that so few vaccinated pregnant women have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
“However, it is very concerning that admissions of pregnant women to hospital with Covid-19 are increasing and that pregnant women appear to be more severely affected by the Delta variant of the disease.
“I cannot emphasise more strongly how important it is for pregnant women to get vaccinated in order to protect both them and their baby.”
Marian Knight, professor of maternal and child population health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford
In a study, published in an online server called medRxiv, the Oxford University scientists said that vaccinations are able to offer effective protection from the risk of becoming severely ill from Covid, with far fewer numbers from vaccinated groups in hospital compared with those who have not had the jab.
For the study, the researchers looked at the data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS), involving all pregnant women in the UK admitted to hospital with symptoms of Covid from the beginning of the pandemic to up to July 11 2021.
They found that 3,371 pregnant women were admitted to hospital with symptoms of the disease.
NHS England has advised that any pregnant women with questions or concerns about the vaccine can speak to their GP, midwife or obstetrician to get more information and advice and can book an appointment to get their jab on the NHS National Booking Service website or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.