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Vaccination, pregnancy and breastfeeding

pregnant lady holding her bump

14 May 2021

Pregnant and breastfeeding women will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in line with their age or risk group, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recently published new advice on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. You can read the new guidance here (opens in new tab).

The JCVI has advised that pregnant women should be offered a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination at the same time as people of the same age or risk group.

Women are eligible to be vaccinated at any time in their pregnancy, though some women may choose to wait until after their booking (12 week) scan. Other household members are also encouraged to receive their vaccine when called, to protect pregnant women.

Women trying to become pregnant are also advised that they do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination and there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines will affect fertility.

Julie Jenkins, Head of Midwifery and Women’s Services at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Real world information about the COVID-19 vaccines is showing vaccines are effective in preventing COVID-19 and are one of our most important tools to help reduce the spread of the virus.

“While there is currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy, there is no evidence that the vaccines can cause harm to you or your baby if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and no safety concerns have been identified.”

If you are pregnant, please contact our booking centre by calling 0300 303 8322 or emailing when you receive your appointment letter so we can record that you are pregnant on our system and ensure you are booked into a vaccine centre which delivers the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

There should also be an interval of seven days or more between the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, such as the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination.

Dr Roopam Goel, Clinical Lead for Obstetrics at Hywel Dda UHB, adds: “Some pregnant women may become seriously unwell with COVID-19, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.

“It is a woman’s choice whether to have the vaccine or not after considering the benefits and risks. We strongly encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to discuss the available information with their GP, obstetrician or midwife to make the decision that is right for them.”

If you are pregnant and have already received your first Oxford AstraZenca vaccine, it is safe for you to receive your second dose. There is no evidence to suggest this vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed. Evidence on all COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives have produced an information sheet and decision aid (opens in new tab) plus other information (opens in new tab) you may find helpful or please talk to your midwife or consultant about the risks and benefits to help inform your decision.

The Breastfeeding Network, an independent source of support and information for breastfeeding women and others, has also published frequently asked questions (opens in new tab) regarding breastfeeding and the COVID-19 vaccine to help inform your decision.