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 could need hospital treatment.
Data from The UK Obstetric Surveillance System shows that, between the start of February and the end of September 2021, 1,714 pregnant women were admitted to hospital with symptomatic Covid-19 and that, of these, 235 – or 14% - were admitted to intensive care. Nearly 99% of those in intensive care were unvaccinated, while the remainder had received only one dose of the vaccine.
In addition, since July, 1 in 5 Covid-19 patients receiving treatment through a special lung bypass machine and so most critically ill were expectant mums who had not had their first jab.
The Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to be effective and safe; it does 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, as this data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System shows, infections can be very serious for pregnant women.
"The vaccine offers you the best protection you can get against Covid-19 while you are pregnant or trying for a baby, and it's also safe to have your vaccine if you are breastfeeding.”
Janet Driver, Regional Chief Midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, added: “We are urgently calling for all pregnant women to come forward for their vaccinations. There is robust evidence showing that the vaccine is the most effective way to protect both mother and baby against the possibility of severe illness from Covid-19. The disproportionate number of unvaccinated pregnant women in intensive care demonstrates that there is a significant risk of severe illness from Covid-19 in pregnancy.
“We do understand women’s concerns about having the vaccine in pregnancy, and we want to reassure women that there is no link between having the vaccine and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth.”
Vaccinations are available without an appointment at walk in clinics in Wolverhampton; details of locations, times and dates can be found at COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccinations can also be booked online at Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines or by calling NHS 119.
Latest figures show there were 335.1 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 881 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of cases will likely be higher.