Pregnant women encouraged to have COVID-19 vaccine

Wales’ Chief Medical Officer is renewing calls for pregnant women to get vaccinated as soon as possible, emphasising it is safe and effective at all stages.

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths is backing Dr Frank Atherton’s message as the evidence shows the COVID-19 vaccine can protect mums and babies from avoidable harm.

It follows a rise in the number of unvaccinated pregnant women being admitted to hospital with coronavirus who are experiencing serious illness.

Both the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommend vaccination as one of the best defences against severe infection.

Dr Atherton said: “COVID-19 infection in pregnancy carries a significant risk of hospital admission, whilst pregnant women appear no more or less likely to contract the virus, growing evidence shows that pregnant women may be at increased risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19 compared with the rest of the population, particularly in the third trimester.

“The COVID-19 vaccine can protect mums and babies from avoidable harm. We now have a lot of worldwide experience to know that the vaccine is safe and effective at all stages of pregnancy – women shouldn’t wait, take it as soon as possible whether planning pregnancy or already pregnant.

“I want to reassure expectant mothers that the vaccine is based on science that has been used safely on pregnant women for many years, including vaccines already administered during pregnancy like whooping cough and the flu vaccine. The vaccine used is not a live vaccine, so cannot give you the virus.”

Lesley Griffiths MS said: “The message from Wales’ Chief Medical Officer is clear.  After analysing the data and studying the evidence, medical professionals around the world agree the vaccine offers the greatest protection against coronavirus.

“It is heart-breaking to think mothers and babies are suffering from the virus when the harm caused can be prevented.  Whatever stage you’re at, it’s never too late to get vaccinated so I am urging pregnant women in Wrexham to accept their COVID-19 vaccine when offered.”