England’s chief midwife on Friday urged pregnant women to get vaccinated as new data reveals that an overwhelming majority of expectant mothers who are hospitalized with COVID-19 had not received the vaccine.
From May 16 to June 11, 171 pregnant women across the UK were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and nearly all (98%) had not been vaccinated, according to figures compiled by the Obstetric Surveillance System of the United Kingdom. United Kingdom (UKOSS).
Meanwhile, only three of those women had received one dose, and no pregnant woman who had received both doses had been admitted to the hospital, the data shows.
And while broadly in line with current COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the general population, the data highlights an increase among pregnant women needing care for acute symptoms.
The delta variant has led to a 45% increase in the proportion of hospitalized pregnant women experiencing moderate to severe COVID-19, it adds.
Quoted in a press release from the National Health Service (NHS), Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, England’s director of midwifery, said: “Vaccines save lives, and this is another stark reminder that the COVID-19 vaccine can keep you, your baby, and your loved ones safe and out of the hospital.”
“Thanks to the planning, skill and dedication of the hardworking staff, the NHS covid-19 vaccination program is the largest in the history of health services and the most accurate in Europe. But we need everyone to reach out and accept the everlasting offer of a vaccine, so I ask pregnant women to take steps to protect themselves and their babies and my fellow midwives to make sure they have the information they need to do so.”
A third (33%) of pregnant women hospitalized in the UK since May required additional ventilation, with 37% developing pneumonia and 15% requiring intensive care, according to UKOSS.
The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) recommends that expectant mothers get vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, citing data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that women pregnant women have been vaccinated with these doses without any safety concerns.
Gill Walton, CEO of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your baby from COVID-19. It really is that simple. Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women around the world have been vaccinated, safely and effectively protecting themselves against covid and dramatically reducing the risk of serious illness or harm to their baby.”
“It is very important that pregnant women receive the vaccine, particularly with the virus so prevalent and the delta variant proving to be much more transmissible. If you have questions, talk to your midwife, talk to your obstetrician, talk to your GP. Get the answers you need and get the vaccine.”
According to the NHS, more than 55,000 pregnant women in the UK have also received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.