COVID misinformation putting pregnant women at risk, says the RCM

on 26 January 2022 NHS Safety Midwives Covid-19 Wellbeing Of Women NPEU - National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit The Lancet

It is more important than ever that we encourage and support pregnant women to have the COVID vaccination says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). This comes as new research shows that in the UK 98 per cent of women admitted to critical care were unvaccinated. 

The research comes from analysis led by the National Perinatal Unit (NPEU) at Oxford Population Health and published this week in The Lancet Regional Health Europe. It also revealed that of the countries covered in the research, England had the second lowest vaccination uptake in pregnant women, with only 22% having received at least one dose.

Commenting, Dr Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Professional Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This lays out starkly the dangers pregnant women can face from this virus, particularly if they are unvaccinated. If you become unwell with COVID in pregnancy you are more likely to have a stillbirth, a preterm birth and more interventions at birth.  Many have been put off having the vaccine by the waves of misinformation circulating about it. We have got to re-double our efforts to cut through this and keep sharing the growing body of evidence that this vaccine is safe for women and their babies, and that they can have it at any point in their pregnancy.

“I urge pregnant women who are unvaccinated to be discerning about where you get your information.  Please go to trusted, evidence-based sources such as the RCM, RCOG and Government websites and talk to your healthcare professionals, including your midwife, to get your information. The evidence shows it is very safe and it will help to protect you and your baby from the worst effects of this serious, and sometimes deadly virus. We think this message is now beginning to get through as we have seen a significant increase in the proportion of women coming through maternity services who are fully vaccinated, so things are heading in the right direction”


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]. 

Notes to Editors: 

The RCM’s COVID Hub has information for pregnant women about the COVID-19 virus and vaccination at Coronavirus Hub - RCM.

Read more on the NPEU research at

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team.  We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team