Released on: 01 September 2023
Commenting on the recent COVID-19 vaccination guidance provided by NHS England, Angela McConville, Chief Executive of NCT said: "At a time when many pregnant women can feel anxious or uncertain about decisions related to vaccinations during pregnancy, it's extremely disappointing to see that NHS England have failed to provide consistent and clear guidance on whether pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are on their priority list to be protected against both COVID-19 and flu.
Where relevant information is available, it is in a lengthy document aimed mainly at clinicians rather than members of the public. I urge all those in health administrations across the UK, including the devolved nations, to review their guidance around pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine and to issue clear and transparent information for pregnant women this autumn, while ensuring that maternity staff and GPs are also updated with urgency."
- Recent figures from the DHSC show numbers of Covid-19 infections rising throughout July and August 2023, with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) recognising a new SARS-CoV-2 variant BA.2.86, detected in the UK on 18 August. UKHSA has published a risk assessment https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-variants-identified-in-the-uk-latest-updates
- The most recent week saw 108 deaths involving the virus up 58.8 per cent from 68 one week earlier
- Covid-19 was the leading cause of maternal death in the UK in 2019-2021 during or up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy, according to the MBRRACE-UK agency https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk/data-brief/maternal-mortality-2019-2021
- For pregnancy guidance in England, Chapter 14a and Table 3 of the ‘Green Book’ https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immunisation-against-infectious-disease-the-green-book offers the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures, for vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in the UK