The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued new advice for pregnant women on taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
The JCVI has advised that it is now preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. Real-world data from the United States has shown that around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated without any safety concerns being raised.
The pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with mRNA vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna and there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy.
COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy
The advice has been published in Public Health England’s Green Book. It advises that pregnant women should still discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their clinician, including the latest evidence on safety and which vaccines they should receive.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, said: “We encourage pregnant women to discuss the risks and benefits with their clinician – those at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 are encouraged to promptly take up the offer of vaccination when offered. There have been no specific safety concerns from any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy.
“There is more real-world safety data from the US in relation to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in women who are pregnant – therefore, we advise a preference for these to be offered to pregnant women.”
The greatest risk factor for severe outcomes from COVID-19 is age, which is why pregnant women should be invited for vaccination along with their age or clinical risk group. Women who are planning pregnancy, are in the immediate postpartum, or are breastfeeding can be vaccinated with any vaccine, depending on their age and clinical risk group.