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RCOG responds to Government's booster vaccine roll out

News 13 December 2021

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is disappointed that the Government has not prioritised pregnant women for the COVID-19 booster vaccine.

The Government has announced that the COVID-19 booster vaccine will now be offered to everyone over 18 in England from this week.

Responding to the news, Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“We are disappointed that pregnant women have not been prioritised for the booster vaccine, despite them being at increased risk of falling seriously ill if they do catch COVID-19.

“We have and will continue to lobby the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the NHS to ensure pregnant women can access their third dose once they are eligible, which is three months after their second dose.

“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that all over 18s will be able to book their booster vaccines from Wednesday, we are encouraging all pregnant women to schedule their booster jabs as soon as it’s been three months since their second vaccine to ensure that their protection against COVID-19 and the new variant is the best it can be.

“We know that pregnant women are more at risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 than the general population. Although more than half of pregnant women who catch COVID-19 do not develop symptoms, the latest data shows that pregnant women who do develop severe symptoms are more likely to have pregnancy complications including having a stillbirth and giving birth prematurely.

“The latest MBRRACE report shows that over 98% of pregnant women who are admitted to hospital are unvaccinated. With the new variant in circulation, we strongly encourage pregnant women to have the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not done so already to protect themselves and their baby.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)7740 175342 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk.

Notes to Editors

We have an extensive Q&A section for pregnant women and their families on the RCOG website: www.rcog.org.uk/coronavirus-pregnancy

About the RCOG

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of 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.