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Fertility, pregnancy, and Covid-19: why getting vaccinated is so important

7th September 2021 | By Liz McCann | Posted in

Health, pregnancy and fertility experts in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland

(LLR) are urging all; pregnant women; women who are hoping to become pregnant and new mums who have yet to have either their first or second dose of the Covid-19 vaccinations to come forward and get vaccinated.

Recent data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance Service showed the overwhelming majority of pregnant women hospitalised with Coronavirus have not been vaccinated. Nationally, since May 2021, just three women had been admitted into hospital after having their first vaccine. In contrast, almost all (98%) pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 had not been vaccinated. This has highlighted a desperate need for all pregnant women, new mums and those hoping to become pregnant to get vaccinated to help minimise the risk of contracting the virus.

In a bid to raise awareness locally and reduce Covid rates in pregnancy and in new mums across LLR local experts have filmed a short video which answers the most frequently asked questions about pregnancy and vaccines. The video provides pregnant women with useful; facts, information about the importance of getting vaccinated and the benefits of being vaccinated for both mum and baby. The video also addresses some of the more common misconceptions about the vaccines. The video can be viewed here:

Caroline Trevithick, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance at the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland CCGs, said: “The virus is still a very real concern and can be devasting to pregnant women and their babies. We want local mums and young families to know that by having both Covid-19 vaccinations they are giving themselves the best protection from becoming seriously ill and suffering potentially serious complications. It is however imperative that both doses are taken to provide maximum protection.”

“Studies have shown that having the Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy has proven to be safe for both mums and their babies. By getting fully vaccinated during pregnancy will mean that antibodies are passed to the baby helping to them to build some immunity to the virus.”

This work has been developed in partnership by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups with Leicestershire County Council and lead clinicians from the University Hospitals of Leicester.

Vivienne Robbins, Consultant in Public Health at Leicestershire County Council, said: “Recent covid infection rates across Leicestershire are some of the highest we’ve seen throughout the pandemic to date. Highly transmissible variants such as the Delta variant are still effecting local people including pregnant women so it’s imperative that we support our women to access information about the Covid-19 vaccines and encourage them to get vaccinated in order to protect them and their babies from becoming critically ill from the virus.”

As part of this important work, it’s being made easier for women, their midwives and health visitors to have conversations about the vaccine and any concerns they may have. Incentives such as information being made more accessible in antenatal clinics waiting rooms, online and by stickers being placed on maternity books and red books to prompt discussion about the vaccine with health professionals at their routine appointments.

Floretta Cox, Community Midwifery Matron at the University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “Throughout their pregnancies women will routinely have a number of vaccines including whooping cough and the flu vaccines. Much like these vaccines the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed the latest data and has recommended that pregnant women in the UK should be offered the

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The Covid-19 vaccines will not adversely affect either a pregnant woman, a new mum or anyone hoping to get pregnant as the vaccine does not impact male or female reproductive organs, nor do the vaccines contain any live virus, animal products or eggs.”

For more information about Covid vaccines and fertility or during pregnancy and visit: www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/pregnancy-and-fertility/

Anyone in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland aged 16+ who has not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19, or who hasn’t had their second dose, can find out how to get their jab by visiting https://bit.ly/GetVaxxedLLR.

A study conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) can be found here: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/covid-19-vaccines-and-pregnancy/covid-19-vaccines-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding/

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