Is it safe during pregnancy?
Although research on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy is ongoing, there is no evidence that any of the vaccines cause harm to you or your baby. The large clinical trials which showed that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective did not include pregnant women. This means there is limited information about the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. A very small number of women became pregnant after they received the vaccine in a trial. There was no sign of problems, but the numbers are too small to be certain. Pregnant women with high risk medical conditions are being offered vaccination because their underlying condition may put them at high risk of experiencing serious complications of COVID-19.
Why has my relative / friend who is also pregnant not been offered the vaccine?
Not all pregnant women are classed as clinically vulnerable and therefore not all pregnant women will be offered the vaccine at this stage. If you have been invited for a vaccination it is because you have been identified by your obstetrician or midwife as clinically vulnerable. Pregnant women with high risk medical conditions are being offered vaccination because their underlying condition may put them at high risk of experiencing serious complications of COVID-19.
How will the vaccine affect women who plan to breastfeed or are breastfeeding?
Will I experience any side effects?
Side effects are variable but common there is no reason to think that the vaccine will have worse side-effects in pregnant women
I initially declined the vaccination but now I’ve changed my mind -can I still book in?
When is the best time in my pregnancy to have the vaccine?
The vaccine should work whatever the stage of pregnancy you are in there is no research as to when is the best time in pregnancy to have this vaccination. If you are classed as either at high risk of catching COVID-19 or have an underlying condition may put you at high risk of experiencing serious complications of COVID-19 then getting vaccinated earlier allows your body more time to build up an immune response and to protect you and your baby from COVID-19 in later pregnancy – when COVID-19 has more serious complications.
Can I wait until later in my pregnancy for the vaccine?
Some women may choose to wait until after the first 12 weeks (which are most important for the baby’s development) and will plan to have the first dose at any time from 13 weeks onward. However if you are more at risk of becoming seriously unwell if you were to contract COVID-19 because of an underlying condition then you may need to consider whether it is better for you to get immunised at the first opportunity possible to reduce this risk.
As pregnant women are more likely to be seriously unwell and have a higher risk of their baby being born prematurely if they develop COVID-19 in their third trimester (after 28 weeks), women may wish to have the vaccine before their third trimester if this is possible. There is no point in pregnancy when it is deemed too late to get vaccinated so if you are clinically at risk please discuss this with your team.
What happens if I get pregnant between doses of the vaccine?
If you find out you are pregnant after you have had one dose of the vaccine (between doses), it is your choice to either have the second dose after the recommended interval, to wait until after 12 weeks of pregnancy (which are most crucial for the baby’s development) or defer until after pregnancy. Your decision should take into account your personal exposures to and risks from COVID-19. You can discuss these risks with a doctor or your midwife, and you may want to use the RCOG and RCM decision tool
to assist you in deciding what to do next.
Can I speak to someone at the vaccination centre if I’ve got any concerns?
Yes. There is always a senior doctor on site and any person who is pregnant should be assessed by a doctor who will be able to go through any questions you have. This doctor is usually a GP.
Can I still attend if I’ve got children with me?
Yes you can attend with your children with you if you are unable to find childcare, however it is preferable for you to come alone to reduce the amount of social interaction and risk of COVID-19 to you and your family along with the other patients being vaccinated that day which may include the clinically extremely vulnerable.
What if I can’t leave the house?
Please call 0115 883 4640 between 8am – 6pm (Mon – Fri) or 9am – 1pm (Sat – Sun) so we can help organise transport and facilitate getting you to your vaccination appointment.