The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has urged pregnant women to come forward for vaccination.
Figures published show that 34 women have died in the UK after acquiring COVID while pregnant.Four newborn babies have also died where medics said the reason was COVID-19.
Given that the majority of pregnant women who have been admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 are unvaccinated, the key priority is to increase the number of pregnant women completing their primary course (2 vaccine doses 8 weeks apart) said the committee.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of JCVI COVID-19 Immunisation, said:
There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines used in pregnancy increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, congenital abnormalities or birth complications. Having a UK approved COVID-19 vaccine is safer than having COVID-19 itself.
Women who are pregnant are strongly encouraged to have a first, second or booster vaccine dose as appropriate in order to better protect yourself and your baby from any serious consequences from COVID-19.
Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, UKHSA, said:
The serious risks posed to women who become infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy have become increasingly clear.
We know that the vaccines used in the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme have been highly effective in preventing serious complications and those recommended for pregnant women have a good safety record.
I would urge all pregnant women to come forward and get their vaccine without delay. This is the best way to protect you and your baby.