The chief midwife of England has urged colleagues to encourage pregnant women, few of them vaccinated, to get immunized against the COVID-19, after a study at the University of Oxford that shows a worsening of symptoms in the case of the Delta variant.
“The COVID-19 vaccine can keep you, your baby and your loved ones safe and out of the hospital,” said Jacqueline Dunkley Bent, England’s chief midwife, when only a small proportion of pregnant women were vaccinated.
In an open letter to his colleagues and affected women on Friday, he urged “pregnant women to take steps to protect themselves and their baby,” stressing that “the vaccine saves lives.”
This warning follows the publication last week of a “disturbing” study by the University of Oxford. The data shows that 99% of pregnant women admitted to the hospital because of the coronavirus had not been vaccinated and that one in ten of them need intensive care.
“It is very good news that so few vaccinated pregnant women have been hospitalized for COVID-19,” recalled Professor Marian Knight, who led the study, nonetheless judging “very worrying that the admissions of pregnant women to the hospital due to the coronavirus are increasing, and that patients appear to be more severely affected in the case of the Delta variant ”.
According to Knight, 200 pregnant women were admitted to the hospital with coronavirus last week alone.
In total, since the beginning of the pandemic and until July 11, 3,371 pregnant women were hospitalized with symptoms of the disease. The severity of his condition was accentuated with the Delta variant, details the study, which has yet to be examined by its peers.
Consulted this week on the same subject, the person in charge of vaccination of the WHO Kate O’Brien affirmed that there was a “higher risk” of contracting a serious form of the disease for a pregnant woman.
“And this is even more true at the end of pregnancy, when you have a large belly and your lung capacity is reduced as a result of the weight you carry,” she said in a question and answer session, encouraging future moms and women who breastfeed to get vaccinated.
From mid-April, UK pregnant women can receive the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine. In fact, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives advise doing it as soon as possible.
According to data from the English Health Service (PHE) published on July 22, around 51,700 pregnant women received a first dose, and 20,600 the second.
A very low figure compared to the 606,500 pregnant women registered by their doctor in England in 2020-2021, says the BBC.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.