Pregnant women urged to get jabbed in new ad campaign

Almost all pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid over several months last year had not been vaccinated.

The data has emerged from a new advertising campaign encouraging people to get their first, second and booster jabs.

It will highlight the risks to mothers and their babies, with testimonies from vaccinated pregnant women broadcast on radio and social media.

Expectant mothers, who are less likely to have had the jab than the general population, were made a priority group for the vaccine in December as research showed they are more vulnerable.

At least 34 pregnant women have died in the UK after catching Covid, while four newborn babies have died where medics said the reason was the virus.

Women are around 50% more likely to die with Covid than those who are pregnant and do not catch the virus.

Ministers claim they’ve been clear, along with medical experts and institutions, that vaccines are safe for pregnant women and have no impact on fertility.

Statistics showed 96.3% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid symptoms between May and October were unvaccinated, a third of whom needed respiratory support.

Around one in five women admitted to hospital with the virus need to be delivered pre-term to help them recover, and one in five of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.

Since April 2021, around 84,000 pregnant women have received one dose and over 80,000 have received two doses of the vaccine.

Dr Jen Jardine, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who is seven months pregnant and has had her booster jab, said: ‘Both as a doctor and pregnant mother myself, we can now be very confident that the Covid-19 vaccinations provide the best possible protection for you and your unborn child against this virus.

‘I would strongly call on all pregnant women like me, if you haven’t had the vaccine yet, to either speak to your GP or midwife if you still have questions and then book right away today.’

Professor Lucy Chappell, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said: ‘Getting a Covid vaccine is one of the most important things a pregnant woman can do this year to keep herself and her baby as safe from this virus as possible.

‘We have extensive evidence now to show that the vaccines are safe and that the risks posed by Covid are far greater.

‘If you haven’t had your Covid vaccine, I would urge you to speak to your clinician or midwife if you have any questions or concerns, and book in your vaccine as soon as you can.’

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