England's chief midwife has stepped up her call for pregnant women to get the Covid jab as soon as possible.
Estimates based on GP records and Public Health England data suggest hundreds of thousands have not had the jab, as the number of mums-to-be in hospital with the virus rises. Other data suggests the Delta variant increases the chance of severe disease.
In the last three months, 171 pregnant women with Covid needed hospital care - but none had had both jabs. England’s top midwife is urging expectant mums to get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, as new data suggests a worrying rise in Covid-19 hospital admissions among unvaccinated pregnant women in the UK. There is also evidence that the Delta variant poses a significantly greater risk to pregnant women than previous strains.
The data suggests that the overwhelming majority (98%) of 171 pregnant women hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms since mid-May had not received a Covid-19 vaccine, compared to just three women who had received a first dose, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women.
Although pregnant women are no more likely to catch Covid-19, they are already recognised to be at slightly increased risk of becoming severely unwell, or to experience complications such as preterm birth or stillbirth if they become infected.
One doctor fighting covid on the front line is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated after witnessing a surprising number of expectant mothers struck down with the virus.
This week, one of our pregnant patients became so unwell that it was clear that there was no choice other than to deliver the baby. The lady was sufficiently late on in her pregnancy that the doctors did not have to worry too much about the risks of premature birth but this was obviously a very troubling situation, fortunately, everything went well.
The baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section with a minimum of fuss thanks to the combined efforts of the team of obstetricians, anaesthetists, midwives and nurses, UK. According to report, the baby is doing fine and whilst mum remains ventilated on the ICU, her condition is showing some signs of improvement.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives have also urged pregnant women to get vaccinated. More than 100 pregnant women have been admitted to the hospital in each of the last two weeks with Covid-19 by Marian Knight, from Oxford University. Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the known risks of Covid-19 in pregnancy for both mother and baby, including admission to intensive care and premature birth.
In April a study suggested that pregnant women who catch covid are more than 20 times more likely to die during pregnancy than those without the disease.
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