Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are being urged not to delay having their life saving Covid-19 vaccines.

Although the overall risk to pregnant women and new born babies from Covid-19 disease is low, in later pregnancy some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment.

Pregnant women with Covid have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant, and are two or three times more likely to have their babies early than women without Covid-19.

Pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions such as immune problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from Covid-19.

The Covid-19 vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile; they do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Covid-19 case numbers are still high in Wolverhampton and infections can be serious for pregnant women.

"The vaccine offers you the best protection you can get against Covid-19, and thousands of pregnant women have been safely vaccinated in the UK and worldwide.

"It's also safe to have your vaccine if you are breastfeeding, and doing so is recommended by both the JCVI and the World Health Organization.

"As no vaccines are 100% effective, you should also continue to do everything you can to keep yourself safe from Covid-19 by practicing Hands, Face and Space. You may want to consider limiting close contact with with people you do not normally meet, and you should get a regular rapid test to reassure yourself and others that you don’t have the virus.”

Vaccinations are available without an appointment at dozens of walk-in clinics being held in Wolverhampton each week; details of locations, times and dates plus vaccine type available, can be found at Walk-in Vaccinations. Vaccinations can also be booked online at NHS or by calling NHS 119.

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine or NHS.

For details of rapid testing – for people without symptoms of Covid-19 – please visit Lateral Flow Home Test Kits. People are reminded that, if they develop symptoms of Covid-19, they must book a PCR via GOV.UK or by calling 119.

Latest figures show there were 283.3 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 745 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.