Midwives and healthcare professionals are urging those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy who haven’t yet been vaccinated to consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible, and to book their second doses as soon as they are eligible. Vaccination is recommended in pregnancy, but the decision whether to have the vaccine is your choice. Download our information sheet.
Should I get the vaccine? Information sheet for pregnant womenDownload here
Pregnant women are at risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19, particularly in the third trimester with new data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) showing that 1 in 10 pregnant women admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 need intensive care.
In pregnant women with symptoms of COVID-19, it is twice as likely that their baby will be born early, exposing the baby to the risk of prematurity. Recent studies have also found that pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of birth were more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, need an emergency caesarean and had higher rates of stillbirth; however, the actual increases remain low.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommend that pregnant women receive their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine like the rest of the general population. See its position is available here.
- The JCVI has identified that people under the age of 30 with no underlying health condition should be offered an alternative to the Astra Zeneca vaccine, as a precaution.
- As there is more real world data from the USA in relation to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines during pregnancy, the RCOG and RCM advise that pregnant women are generally offered these vaccines.
- If you planning a pregnancy, are in the immediate postnatal period or breastfeeding, you can be vaccinated with any vaccine. You should not stop breastfeeding in order to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility.
- Having a COVID-19 vaccine will not remove the requirement for employers to carry out a risk assessment for pregnant employees, which should follow the rules set out in this government guidance.