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Maternity Colleges welcome COVID-19 vaccine access update

News 14 May 2021

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have welcomed moves to ensure pregnant women are able to get the right COVID-19 vaccination. 

This follows an announcement last week by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, that all people under 40 should be offered an alternative to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. In April, the JCVI had also said that all pregnant women should be offered an alternative to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine when they are in the right age cohort to be offered a vaccination. 

The NHS has been working hard to ensure the vaccines women need are available. To offer additional support for pregnant women NHS Digital have this week announced that that there will be an ‘Are you Pregnant’ button on the national COVID-19 booking site. Through the site women will be able to book to have the appropriate vaccine and see tailored information and advice about the vaccines. This is in addition to pregnant women being able to access an appropriate vaccination via their GP and hospital maternity teams. 

Dr Pat O’Brien, Vice President at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We are pleased the NHS has recognised the importance of making sure pregnant women can access the right vaccine and have made swift moves to adapt the booking system so it accommodates their needs.

“We would encourage all pregnant women who are offered the COVID-19 vaccine to discuss the benefits and risks, including the side effects, with a healthcare professional. Vaccination continues to offer pregnant women the best protection from COVID-19, which can be serious in some women.”

Dr Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Professional Midwifery at the RCM, said: “It is great that the NHS is moving quickly to make sure women can get the right vaccine, and is making this possible via the national booking system. We urge pregnant women who want to have the vaccine to keep checking the system if local centres aren’t immediately available. 

“The NHS and vaccination staff are working really hard to ensure that everything will be in place so that the booking process is smoother, information is better, and availability of the right vaccine is there for women.”

Ends 

To contact the RCOG press office call +44 (0)7986 183167 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk.
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email media@rcm.org.uk


Notes to editors

The RCM has developed two COVID-19 vaccination professional briefings for midwives, which can be accessed here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/rcm-professional-clinical-guidance-briefings/ .

RCM information for pregnant women about the vaccination is here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/guidance-for-pregnant-women/.

The RCOG have developed a range of information on our website for healthcare professionals and pregnant women eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

The RCOG is a medical charity that champions the provision of high-quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.

The 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 website.