Mum breastfeeding her baby.

Guidelines have changed for those who are breastfeeding, and the vaccine will be made available for everyone in eligible groups.

Initially, government guidance was that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not have the Covid-19 vaccine as there was insufficient evidence around its use for these groups.

But The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published updated guidance on Covid-19 vaccines and breastfeeding on 30 December 2020 so that women can make an informed decision. They advise that there is a lack of safety data, but no known risk in giving available Covid-19 vaccines to breastfeeding women.

So, can I have the vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding your baby, you should be offered the Covid-19 vaccine if you are  in one of the eligible groups. These include frontline health or social care workers, or carers in residential homes.

Further information can be found on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) website.

If you are not eligible at the moment, you will be offered the vaccine when it is rolled out to the wider population.

A health professional such as a GP or midwife can talk you through the risks and benefits to help you make an informed decision about vaccination.

I’ve read on a forum that I shouldn’t have the vaccine – is this true?

You may find the decision on whether or not to get vaccinated an emotional and difficult one to make. But be aware that many messages on online and other forums are based on individual opinion and not on scientific evidence.

Speak to a health professional about the vaccine to get up-to-date and reliable guidance.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2020) www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/updated-advice-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-pregn…

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