New study confirms safety of Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy

  • Date: 29 November 2021

PREGNANT women vaccinated against Covid-19 were found to have no increased risk of having a stillbirth or low birthweight baby, according to a new study.

The findings from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) were based on data gathered in England between January and August 2021. During that period, almost 355,300 women gave birth, of whom just under 34,800 had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine prior to delivery. The risks of premature birth, stillbirth and low birthweight baby were found to be around the same as for unvaccinated women.

Existing evidence shows women with Covid-19 disease in later pregnancy are at increased risk of severe disease requiring hospital and intensive care admission. But no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021.

Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: "This important report is the first detailed analysis of Covid-19 vaccine coverage in women giving birth in the UK and provides further reassuring evidence that vaccinated women have no increased risk of having a stillbirth or low birthweight baby.

"The evidence reinforces our strong recommendation that getting vaccinated before or during pregnancy is the best way to protect against the known harms of developing Covid-19 while pregnant, including admission to intensive care and premature birth."

The study also found women from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds were the least likely to be vaccinated at the time of birth.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, added: "Our figures also highlight stark inequalities in uptake with many of the most vulnerable women in our society going unvaccinated. It is vital that women of all backgrounds accept their offer of their vaccine in order to protect themselves."

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