Pregnant women are being urged to get the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s gynaecology and maternity teams are expressing concern at the number of unvaccinated pregnant women who are contracting COVID-19, posing a serious risk to themselves and to their babies.
Steph El-Malak, head of midwifery services, said: “The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says that in the last fortnight 100 pregnant women have been admitted with COVID-19. At least ten were admitted to intensive care.
“COVID-19 is clearly a serious risk to both mum and baby.
“It could even result in a premature delivery as we may have no choice but to induce the birth.
“The Royal College also states that 4,000 pregnant women in Scotland and 130,000 pregnant women in the USA have had the vaccine, without any adverse effects being reported.
“The vaccine is a personal choice but I would suggest the risks of contracting COVID-19 massively outweigh any concerns about the safety of the vaccine.”
Steve Wild, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Trust, commented: “We are certainly seeing a lot of pregnant women with COVID, mostly asymptomatic so they were unaware they have the virus.
“There is a lot of misinformation about the vaccine doing the rounds on social media, so I would advise any pregnant woman to discuss it with their midwife, consultant or GP.
“They’ll be able to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.”
Pregnant women are also advised to continue wearing masks when in enclosed spaces, to practice both physical distancing and good hand hygiene.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has issued an information bulletin aimed at pregnant women which can be read online.