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COVID vaccines and pregnancy - what the HSE and medical study states

Pregnant women are being encouraged to get vaccinated against Covid-19, especially as new evidence that it poses no risk has recently been presented. The Health Security Agency, known as UKHSA, has examined over 350,000 deliveries in England since the beginning of the pandemic until August of 2021..

 

The medical study

According to the data, pregnant women who received the vaccine were no more likely than those who did not get vaccinated to have a stillbirth, premature delivery, or babies who cried less than usual.

As reported by the Guardian, Dr June Raine, the chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, stated: “We want to reassure all pregnant women that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective for them to use at all stages of pregnancy.

“Our rigorous safety monitoring of these vaccines in pregnancy shows that the vaccines are safe and that there is no increased risk of pregnancy complications, miscarriage or stillbirth.”

Officials hope that new research will persuade those who have not yet been immunized to get vaccinated.

“Every pregnant woman who has not yet been vaccinated should feel confident to go and get the jab,” Dr Mary Ramsay, who heads up the immunisation department at UKHSA, told the publication.

COVID vaccines and pregnancy

According to health officials, the new data should be “reassuring” to pregnant women who have already been vaccinated. It was also revealed that 24,759 of the 355,299 women who received the Covid-19 vaccine between January and August 2021 received at least one dose. There had been some uncertainty about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness for pregnant women in the months leading up to the new data.

The Guardian reported last month that some pregnant women confirmed via messages on the Vaccines and Pregnancy helpline that their midwives had advised them not to get the vaccine due to the potential harm to the patient. They complained about pregnancy and vaccine misinformation.

The reports were ‘concerning,’ according to Dr Jo Mountfield, consultant obstetrician and vice-president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

“The vaccine is safe in pregnancy, and is the best way to protect both mother and baby from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19,” she said last month, according to the Guardian.

Currently, 98% of pregnant women admitted to a hospital with Covid-19 symptoms have not been immunized. One in every five critically ill patients admitted to the hospital in July was a pregnant woman who had not been vaccinated, with only 22% of women admitted in August having been vaccinated.

Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and the NHS Covid-19 vaccination program’s deputy lead, recently told the publication: “We will continue to advise midwives and clinicians to give expectant mums the information and support they need to make the right decision for them and their babies.”

Pregnant women were among the first to be offered the vaccine, from December 2020.

COVID vaccines and pregnancy - what the HSE and medical study states

Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine

If you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or may become pregnant in the future, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself from the virus. The majority of pregnant women who become infected with the virus have mild to moderate symptoms. They are following protocol, and their children have a low risk of contracting COVID-19. You are, however, more likely than a non-pregnant woman to become seriously ill and require intensive care. Your baby may also experience complications as a result of the virus.

As the HSE states: “Evidence shows COVID-19 vaccines are safe for you and your baby and protect you from getting very unwell. But COVID-19 vaccines are new. We are still learning about them.”

The following are some frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women:

 

  • How to Vaccinate While Pregnant?

Discuss the risks and benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine with your obstetrician, midwife, or general practitioner. Your maternity ward or primary care physician will arrange for your COVID-19 vaccination if you are pregnant. You may also register online for a vaccination appointment, visit a vaccination clinic without an appointment, or schedule an appointment with a participating pharmacy if you have discussed it with your medical team.

 

  • How many doses should I take while pregnant?

COVID-19 vaccine is required in two doses, but dosage recommendations during pregnancy have shifted as more evidence becomes available.

You can be immunized against COVID-19 at any stage of your pregnancy. If you prefer, you can get your COVID-19 vaccine on the same day like any other vaccine you need during your pregnancy.

You should get the COVID-19 vaccine after consulting with your midwife, general practitioner, or obstetrician.

COVID vaccines and pregnancy 2

  • Which vaccination should you get?

The Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, can be offered to you.

The vaccine you receive is dependent on its availability. Pregnant women will only be able to get the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine starting September 3.

  • Does the vaccine have side effects?

Vaccines, like all medicines, have the potential for unintended consequences. The vast majority of them are mild to moderate in severity and do not last long. You can take paracetamol if you have a fever (38 degrees Celsius or higher). Ibuprofen and aspirin should not be taken.

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Gráinne Macken

This is my second visit to Merrion Fetal, I was very pleased on both occasions. Lovely quiet waiting room, appointment was on time. The 20-week scan is very detailed we enjoyed watching our baby on the large TV screen. We got some beautiful photos. The nurse was very pleasant and talked us through all the measurements and anatomy. I would highly recommend this scanning clinic.”

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I had the best experience at the Merrion Fetal Health clinic for my 20-week big scan. The staff were so friendly and so nice and the lovely lady who did my ultrasound scan was amazing. She was so thoroughgoing to absolutely everything and gave me such reassurance on how my baby was growing and developing. I would recommend any Mother to be to attend here if you are looking for a comfortable, reassuring and super pleasant experience.”

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Highly recommend! We had an early scan due to a little scare at the start of pregnancy and then another at 12 weeks to make sure all was good again. Helen who was scanning on both days was fantastic. We felt totally relaxed and un-rushed while she took her time finding the best angle of baby to get us the clearest pictures as keepsakes all while making sure everything was perfect with baby. She reassured us throughout and I can honestly say it was the best money we ever spent getting both scans done.

Please let Helen know we are 18 weeks now and flying along Highly recommend!

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All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.