Pregnant women should be prioritised for Covid jabs NOW, warn experts

PREGNANT women can now skip vaccine queues after health chiefs labelled them as at high risk from Covid.

Medics said four newborns and 17 mums-to-be have died of Covid in the UK since May.

And 96 per cent of pregnant women admitted to hospital are not jabbed, showing the risk is significantly higher without a vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has added expectant mothers to its priority group six – alongside people with serious health issues.

This means they will get special treatment at vaccination centres and can skip queues to make it easier for them to get a jab.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid chief at the JCVI, said: “Having a vaccine is safer than having Covid itself.”

Dr Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, added: "It is vital that pregnant women can easily access the booster vaccine.

"Women who get symptomatic Covid have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely or stillbirth. 

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"The latest data shows only a fifth of women who gave birth in August were vaccinated and we would strongly recommend that all pregnant women get vaccinated as soon as possible."

New data revealed that between May and October this year, 1,436 pregnant women were admitted to hospital with Covid and 230 went into intensive care.

Just 1.1 per cent of all the patients were double-jabbed and 0.4 per cent of ICU patients had had both doses.

The figures show the power of vaccines and prove the risk of severe Covid is massively higher for unvaccinated women.

Mums-to-be are known to be in more danger from the virus because their immune systems are weaker.

But studies have proved vaccines are safe and work well without harming the baby.

Now pregnant women are in the high-risk group, they can get their jab quicker if they tell staff at the vaccine clinic that they are expecting a child.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, from the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We know the vaccines used in the UK have been highly effective in preventing serious complications and have a good safety record.

“I would urge all pregnant women to come forward and get their vaccine without delay. This is the best way to protect you and your baby.”

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