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Pregnant women eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine urged to take up offer

News 16 September 2021

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is urging all pregnant women eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccine to take up the offer. It comes as Public Health England announce a further 20,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19.1

So far, 81,532 of pregnant women have had one dose of the vaccine, with 65,579 of pregnant women having two doses. In recent months, there have been more unvaccinated pregnant women becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, particularly in their third trimester, and an increased number of women admitted to hospital and intensive care. The RCOG is recommending all pregnant women receive both doses of the either Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and have the booster vaccine if they are eligible.

Earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that certain groups will be offered the COVID-19 booster vaccination a minimum of six months after they received their second vaccine. These include those living in residential care homes for older adults, adults aged 50 years or over, frontline health and social care workers, all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19; adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.

The JCVI also advised that people can have both the COVID-19 booster vaccine and the flu jab at the same time.

Dr Edward Morris, President of the RCOG, said: “We’re pleased to see another 20,000 pregnant women have protected themselves and their baby from COVID-19 by having the vaccine. We want to reassure women that the vaccine is safe in pregnancy. We have real world data from the UK and US showing more than 200,000 people who are pregnant have had the vaccine and there haven’t been any safety concerns.

“As we approach winter, we encourage eligible pregnant women to accept the offer of a COVID-19 booster jab. We also urge all pregnant women to have the flu jab this winter, which can be given alongside the COVID-19 vaccine. It is possible to get infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time and this could make someone who is pregnant severely unwell.

“We look forward to working with the JCVI over the coming weeks to ensure pregnant women receive consistent advice around having their COVID-19 vaccine and booster.”

The JCVI has also confirmed that those who initially had two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are now eligible for a booster, can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for the third dose.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)7986 183167 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk

Notes to Editors

About the RCOG

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 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.