Now that people aged 45 and over have been given the green light to get their jabs, many have been questioning whether or not pregnant people will have access to the vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has finally confirmed that people will be able to get the COVID vaccine during pregnancy.
Prior to this, the vaccine was only offered to pregnant people who were considered high-risk because of underlying medical conditions, or because they were frequently exposed to the virus (i.e. frontline healthcare workers).
Successful data in the US
This decision was taken after data from the US showed that over 90,000 pregnant people were vaccinated against COVID successfully. The vaccine has been optional for expecting mothers since December, and data showed that a majority of the vaccines administered to this demographic were the mRNA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer. A recent study done at the Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that the vaccines not only protected those who were carrying, but it also passed on immunity to their babies through breast milk and the placenta.
Getting vaccinated in the UK
Accordingly, JCVI has advised those with-child to get either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines for now, and the other vaccines will be added to the list once there is enough evidence to support that they are safe. As a precaution, JCVI recommends everyone who is pregnant to consult with their GPs beforehand so that they can make the best decision. Professor Wei Shen Lim of JCVI commented:
We encourage pregnant women to discuss the risks and benefits with their clinician - those at increased risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 are encouraged to promptly take up the offer of vaccination when offered.
Dr. Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, also said:
We believe it should be a woman's choice whether to have the vaccine or not after considering the benefits and risks, and would encourage pregnant women to discuss with a trusted source like their GP, obstetrician or midwife, or a healthcare professional in a vaccination centre.
Those who have missed out on getting the jab with their age group should speak with their GP or midwife. The others will be contacted as their age groups are called up.