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Pregnant women urged not to delay and get their COVID-19 jab today

Pregnant women from across Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to have the COVID-19 jab to protect themselves and their babies from the virus and reduce their chances of becoming seriously ill.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging pregnant women to have the vaccination after national figures showed a rise in the number being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

It comes after data collated by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System showed that the overwhelming majority of pregnant women who were hospitalised with the virus (98%) between May and the end of July had not had a jab. During the same period, no pregnant women who have had both doses of the vaccine were admitted to hospital, while only three were admitted after having their first vaccine.

At the same time, evidence also shows that pregnant women are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, with around one in ten who are admitted to hospital with symptoms needing intensive care and one in five giving birth prematurely.

In the last three months, one in three pregnant women in hospital with COVID-19 in England required additional respiratory support (33%), with more than a third developing pneumonia (37%), and around one in seven needing intensive care (15%).

Nicola Lovett, the CCG’s Lead Midwife, said: “National figures show a continued rise in the number unvaccinated pregnant women who are being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, many of which go onto experience complications. That is why we are encouraging all pregnant women who haven’t yet had the jab to arrange an appointment today to protect themselves and their baby.

“Evidence shows that pregnant women are more at risk of getting seriously unwell with the virus, particularly if they have underlying health conditions or are in the later stages of pregnancy. Having the vaccine is the best way to keep themselves safe, and to reduce the risk of potential complications.

“We understand that some women may have questions or be unsure about having the vaccine, and would urge them to talk to their doctor or midwife so that they can get advice and make a decision that’s right for them.”

The call has been made as part of the ongoing #Ihadmine campaign, which urges people who haven’t yet had the jab to get vaccinated.

Mum-to-be Clara, who lives in Norwich, has had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect both herself and her baby.

She said: “I think it’s really important that as many people as possible get their COVID-19 vaccination. It’s alright to be worried if you’re pregnant, but there’s no evidence that the vaccinations cause harm to your baby.

“Accepting your vaccination now means you can reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy. I’ve had both my jabs and we’re doing absolutely fine.”

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives have both recommended that having the vaccine is one of the best defences for pregnant women against severe COVID-19 infection. The independent JCVI has also confirmed the jab has been shown to be effective and safe for women carrying a baby.

More information is available by visiting www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-faqs/covid-19-vaccinations and clicking on “I’m pregnant – what do I need to do?”

For up-to-date advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, go to www.rcog.org.uk

The vaccine is available at lots of different locations across Norfolk and Waveney. For further details, visit https://apps.norfolk.gov.uk/WalkIn/Form/AllAvailableClinics. Alternatively, book an appointment via the National Booking Service online at www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination.

 

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