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GPs urged to promote Covid vaccination at every contact with pregnant women

at-risk chickenpox

GPs and other healthcare professionals are being urged to advise of the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination at every contact with pregnant women as well as those trying to have a baby.

An NHS letter to all GPs says that with Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalisation of pregnant women continue to rise, it is more important than ever that all healthcare workers continue to build vaccine confidence.

‘This means recommending both Covid-19 and flu vaccination and providing evidence-based advice and support to women on the benefits for them and their babies; as well as information on the risks of not being vaccinated.

‘This also means encouraging all double-vaccinated women to take up the offer of a booster as soon as they are called forward.’

The letter notes that between July and October nearly 20% of the most critically ill patients receiving ECMO treatment for Covid-19 were unvaccinated pregnant women.

It follows data from the UK Health Security Agency last week showing vaccination was safe and effective in pregnancy.

Figures on stillbirth, and low birthweight were the same between vaccinated and unvaccinated women, the analysis found.

Yet around one in five pregnant women who are hospitalised with Covid-19 need to be delivered preterm and one in five of their babies need neonatal care.

Among pregnant women in hospital for Covid-19, 98% are unvaccinated and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with the virus in England between February and the end of September 2021, data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System data shows.

The NHS letter called on healthcare professionals to make sure they were up to date with the latest guidance for Covid-19 vaccination.

And it said work was ongoing with regional vaccination leads to facilitate access to vaccination antenatally, including ‘supporting vaccination sites and maternity services to deliver a range of approaches, such as making vaccinations available in antenatal clinics, pop-up sites, or vaccination teams in other parts of the hospital’.


Karen Potterton 7 December, 2021 12:03 am

Oh damn! I would do that of course but unfortunately I just cancelled all my appointments with anyone pregnant, planning to be, or indeed otherwise because the powers that be want me to spend the next 2 months vaccinating.