Up until this point it has only been offered to those in high-risk groups or healthcare workers.
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has announced it will be offering pregnant women the COVID-19 vaccine.
This comes after the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) presented evidence to the JCVI on the impact of COVID-19 for pregnant women, leading the JCVI to recommend offering vaccination to all pregnant women in line with priority groups.
Pregnant woman will be encouraged to make an individual decision based on benefits and risks.
Up until this point, the COVID-19 vaccination has only been offered to pregnant women with a high risk of complications or have a risk of exposure, such as healthcare workers.
The JCVI is advising that the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines are offered to pregnant women after 90,000 successful vaccinations in the US with no safety concerns raised.
A woman’s choice.
Both the RCOG and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have declared their support for the move.
Professor Lucy Chappell, consultant obstetrician and COVID-19 vaccine lead for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “This announcement from the JCVI brings the UK into line with the US and other countries who have been offering the COVID-19 vaccine to pregnant women since December, and should provide reassurance to pregnant women, as well as those planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, that vaccination is an option for them.
“We are continuing to work with healthcare professionals so they are able to counsel pregnant women on the risks and benefits of having the COVID-19 vaccine based on their individual circumstances.
Dr Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Professional Midwifery and COVID-19 vaccine lead at the Royal College of Midwives, adds; “This is a sensible step by the Committee and one we welcome. It empowers pregnant women to make their own decisions about whether or not to receive the vaccine.
“Ultimately it will be a woman’s choice and midwives and obstetricians will be there to support them to make an informed decision that is right for them.