Tuesday, January 31

Pregnant Women at Risk of Mixed Messages from Health Professionals About Jab Safety | Vaccines and immunizations


Some health professionals are advising pregnant women not to get the Covid vaccine despite an edict of the NHS that should encourage them to get the jab. One in six of the most seriously ill Covid patients requiring vital care are unvaccinated pregnant women, figures released last week show.

However, messages sent to the Vaccine and Pregnancy Helpline, launched Aug. 20 to help pregnant women navigate vaccine information, suggest that some midwives are advising against the vaccine.

One said: “At first I really wanted to get vaccinated and then a midwife advised me not to apply it.” Another wrote: “I got my first dose before I knew I was pregnant. Now that I am pregnant, they have told me that I am not allowed the second one ”. Another reported: “The midwives advised me not to get vaccinated due to the impact on ovulation and menstruation.”

The helpline was created by the Full Fact organization in association with the campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed. Many of those who contacted him complained of conflicting advice, while others were pushed from one pillar to another. One said: “I am pregnant and really confused about getting the vaccine. I spoke to my health visitor, who said talk to your GP, the GP said talk to your midwife and the midwife said they can’t advise me. “

Full Fact deputy editor Claire Milne said the helpline was established to counter misinformation about the vaccine. She explained: “It is not correct that so many pregnant women have been afraid for their safety and that of their unborn children.

“The messages about the safety of vaccines during pregnancy have been, at times, confusing. It is vital that there is up-to-date information available, especially when speaking with health professionals ”.

Rebecca Bottriell-Adams from West London said it took four months of
Rebecca Bottriell-Adams, from West London, said it took four months of “chasing and pleading” and her MP’s intervention to get her hit twice. Photograph: Andy Hall / The Observer

The latest concerns came after NHS England sent a letter on July 30 to senior management warning that all healthcare professionals have a responsibility to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Pregnant women were offered the vaccine for the first time in December 2020, if they were healthcare or healthcare workers or belonged to a risk group. Since April 2021, it has been recommended that pregnant women be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

However, Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said that mixed messages about vaccine safety had left pregnant women scared by their options. She said: “While this is happening less, we still hear critical comments made when pregnant women come to receive their jab, such as ‘this is at your own risk’ or ‘in your head’, which is causing alarm. “

Brearley added: “Pregnant women are being completely marginalized. We are hearing reports that many of those who need their second injection are being turned away from vaccination centers because booster doses take precedence. This is despite worrying data on the number of unvaccinated pregnant women who are seriously ill in the hospital with Covid. “

Rebecca Bottriell-Adams from West London received an AstraZeneca injection before she got pregnant. She said: “I had a nightmare getting a double hit. It took me four months to chase and beg, and I only got my injection from Pfizer this week thanks to the intervention of my local MP. I asked my GP to switch my second jab to Pfizer, but received no response. They rejected me at a vaccination center and then I went to a local for pregnant women, but the vaccinators did not show up. “

The 33-year-old woman, who is 30 weeks pregnant, added: “The problem is that at no point during the launch has pregnant women been prioritized, which is ridiculous considering that they are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.”

Gill Walton, executive director of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said the organization had been working hard to provide up-to-date guidance to midwives. She said: “The initial delay in providing official information and advice to pregnant women, as well as health care personnel delivering the vaccine, sometimes caused confusion among pregnant women and staff. It is something of both the RCM and the RCOG [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists] we had been pushing a lot since the vaccination program started, and we would have liked a more widespread government public information campaign on the vaccine in pregnancy sooner to address the misinformation that was out there. “

Dr Jo Mountfield, Consultant Obstetrician and Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said: “It is very disturbing to hear that some women are still advising pregnant women not to get the Covid-19 vaccine. healthcare professionals. The vaccine is safe during pregnancy and is the best way to protect both mother and baby from getting seriously ill from Covid-19. We are also encouraging all pregnant women who are currently eligible to accept the offer of the Covid-19 booster vaccine (third dose), which can be administered six months after receiving the second dose. “

Access the Pregnancy and Vaccines helpline by sending a message to +44 7521 770995 through WhatsApp.


www.theguardian.com

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