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Pregnant women urged to receive COVID-19 booster amid surging cases

The UK government has warned that more than 96% of pregnant people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms were unvaccinated, in analysis between the months of May and October in 2021. The government has shared that the COVID-19 vaccinations are safe for pregnant individuals and have no impact on fertility.

According to the data, 96.3% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms were unvaccinated and of these, one-third needed respiratory support. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) added pregnant women to the priority list for the vaccine in December 2021, stating that pregnancy placed individuals at heightened risk from COVID-19.

The government is launching a campaign calling on people who are pregnant to receive their first, second, or booster vaccination. The campaign will also highlight the risks of COVID-19 to mothers and babies, with testimonies of pregnant women who have had the vaccine to be broadcast on radio and social media.

Around one in five pregnant women admitted to hospital with the virus needed to be delivered pre-term to help them recover and one in five of their babies needed care in the neonatal unit, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) 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,” said Dr Jen Jardine, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who is seven months pregnant and has received her booster jab. “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.”

Since April 2021, pregnant women in the UK have been offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna jab. Since then, around 84,000 of these have received one dose and more than 80,000 have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the DHSC.