New figures released by UKHSA this week show that over 50% of women who gave birth in December 2021 had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Of the women who had been vaccinated over 40% had received two or more doses of the vaccine.
This is an increase from the numbers from November 2021, and follows the general trend that more pregnant women are getting vaccinated before giving birth. The RCOG strongly recommends that all pregnant women get vaccinated against COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases are rising across the UK as restrictions ease. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated that 3.3 million people would have tested positive in the week ending 12 March, increasing from 2.6 million in the previous week.
Dr Pat O’Brien, consultant obstetrician and Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“We welcome these new data that shows that the majority of women giving birth are being vaccinated against COVID-19. We hope that this is reassuring to anyone who has not yet been vaccinated. We know that COVID-19 in pregnancy can lead to women becoming severely unwell, with some needing critical care, and to their baby being born prematurely, if they are unvaccinated.
“We have high quality evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy, and they are the best way to protect both mother and baby from COVID-19. We are urging anyone who is pregnant or planning a pregnancy who has not already got the vaccine to do so.”
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Notes to editors
- See the data in UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report: 24 March (week 12)
- Read the UKHSA press release
- The RCOG regularly updates and reviews the COVID-19 Q&A