Pregnant Women Should Be Offered COVID Jab, Say UK Vaccine Advisers

Photographed by Krystal Neuvill
Pregnant women should be offered a COVID-19 jab along with other people in their age range, the UK's vaccine advisors have said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) made the announcement on Friday based on data from the US, where 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated without any health or safety concerns.
Before the announcement, pregnant women in the UK had been advised not to take up the vaccine because of a lack of data on how it might affect them.
On Friday, the JCVI also advised that it is "preferable" for pregnant women "to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available".
Although there is no evidence to suggest other vaccines may be unsafe for pregnant women, the JCVI said that "more research is needed" into their impact.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), said: "The available data on the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines provides confidence that they can be offered safely to pregnant women.
"The COVID-19 vaccines continue to save thousands of lives and it is important that we encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer when it is their turn."
Professor Wei Shen Lim of the JCVI added: "We encourage pregnant women to discuss the risks and benefits with their clinician – those at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 are encouraged to promptly take up the offer of vaccination when offered.
"There have been no specific safety concerns from any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy."
As of 16th April, more than 41 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the UK. The government has said that all adults will be offered a first dose by the end of July, with people aged between 18 and 29 the last group to receive the call.

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