Why's Save Lives - Little & Large
Mamas-to-be have all sorts of questions during pregnancy & not having clear answers can be stressful. That’s why the uncertainty that surrounded the safety of the COVID vaccine has been a source of real concern for so many mamas-to-be.
At last though we’ve got clear research & evidence: COVID puts mamas-to-be and their bumps at risk. The vaccine does not.
Estimates based on GP records and Public Health England data suggest hundreds of thousands of pregnant women have not had the Covid-19 vaccination, as the number of mums-to-be in hospital with the virus rises.
99% of expectant mothers hospitalised with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.
In the last three months, 171 pregnant women with Covid-19 needed hospital care – but none had had both jabs.
Public Health England data suggests about 51,724 pregnant women have received one Covid vaccine in England so far. Of these, around 20,648 have had their second dose. This is out of approximately 606,500 pregnant women in England in 2020-21, based on estimates from GP records.
While uncommon, severe illness with Covid-19 is more likely in later pregnancy. About one in four pregnant women in hospital with Covid-19 developed pneumonia, one in five needed respiratory support, one in two had a caesarean section, one in ten needed intensive care and one in three admitted to hospital with Covid go on to give birth prematurely. Sadly, 1 in 100 women had a stillbirth.
In a study, published in an online server called medRxiv, the researchers looked at the data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS), involving all pregnant women in the UK admitted to hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 from the beginning of the pandemic to up to July 11 2021.
They found that 3,371 pregnant women were admitted to hospital with symptoms of the disease and there were 15 maternal deaths.
The researchers also discovered that the severity of women’s illness appeared to have become worse over the course of the pandemic – with 24% of women admitted in the first wave having moderate or severe disease, compared with 36% with the Alpha variant and 45% with the Delta variant.
The scientists also looked at the vaccination data collected since February 1 2021 and found that of the 742 women admitted since that date, only four have received a single dose of vaccine and none have received both doses.
No double vaccinated pregnant women have been admitted with symptomatic COVID-19 from 01/02/21 to 11/07/21.
Nicola Vousden, registrar in public health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health and the first author of the study, said: “This study shows that very few pregnant women are admitted to hospital with Covid-19 after they have received a vaccine”.
• COVID-19 vaccines cannot replicate and cannot infect Mum or baby with COVID-19
• COVID-19 vaccines do not cross the placenta
• COVID-19 vaccines are not found in breast milk
• Maternal antibodies to COVID do cross the placenta
• Maternal antibodies to COVID are found in breast milk
Evidence that the vaccine is safe
In the UK and USA alone, over 200,000 pregnant women have now been vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna, with no adverse effects on the woman, pregnancy or baby.
Public Health Scotland have reported that 4,000 pregnant women have received a vaccine until May, with no serious adverse effects recorded.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that are known to be harmful to pregnant women or to a developing baby. Studies of the vaccines in animals to look at the effects on pregnancy have shown no evidence that the vaccine causes harm to the pregnancy or to fertility.
The COVID-19 vaccines that we are using in the UK are not ‘live’ vaccines and so cannot cause COVID-19 infection in pregnant women of their babies. Vaccines based on live viruses are avoided in pregnancy in case they infect the developing baby and cause harm. However, non-live vaccines have previously been shown to be safe in pregnancy (for example, flu and whooping cough). Pregnant women are offered other non-live vaccines, such as those against flu.
The vaccine can be given at any time in pregnancy so if mothers would rather wait until after the 12 week scan, they can still have the second shot before the third trimester when Covid is more likely to cause the most harm.
Talk to your midwife or GP to help you make a decision that’s right for you and your baby.
From the experts
How to get involved in #MyWhy
There are a million reasons to get vaccinated against COVID during your pregnancy & we want to know yours.
With the virus putting thousands of pregnant mothers in hospital and at risk, we’re asking mamas everywhere to share their reason for getting vaccinated using #MyWhy – to help support and reassure hesitant mamas-to-be – your why can help save lives.
Explain your reason why, using the #MyWhy Instagram effect:
- Explain your ‘why’ in a post, reel or story – the reason you got the vaccine while pregnant
- Choose a photo of your bump or baby OR use our template below
- Tag @MAMAacademy + #MyWhy
- Add a swipe up to this #MyWhy landing page
I’m vaccinated against COVID-19 because:
- I want to protect my baby from becoming ill
- I want to reduce the risk of my baby being born prematurely
- 1 in 3 pregnant women in hospital with Covid developed pneumonia
- it will reduce my chance of having to have a caesarean section
- 1 in 7 pregnant women in hospital with Covid needed intensive care
- thousands of pregnant women have been safely vaccinated worldwide