COVID jabs are safe for pregnant women and their child, the first real-world UK data shows.
An analysis of more than 350,000 deliveries found birth outcomes were the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated mums.
The UK Health Security Agency research shows being jabbed didn’t alter the risk of stillbirth, premature delivery or low birth weight.
But worryingly, only 22 per cent of women who gave birth in August had their Covid vaccine.
England’s top doctor has repeatedly warned of the pandemic risk to mums-to-be.
Speaking last week, Prof Chris Whitty revealed 98 per cent of pregnant woman admitted to hospital with the bug were unvaccinated.
It follows data from the NHS showing nearly one in five critically ill Covid patients were pregnant women who had not been jabbed,
Experts said the latest data is “hugely reassuring” for expectant mums – and urged them to get immunised.
Professor Lucy Chappell, the Department of Health’s Chief Scientific Adviser, said: “This pandemic has created a lot of fear and uncertainty for those who are thinking about pregnancy or expecting a baby, with Covid-19 being very dangerous for pregnant women in particular.
“It is therefore really important that they get their Covid-19 vaccine – which has now protected hundreds of thousands of pregnant women around the world.
“Today’s data are hugely reassuring and further shows the vaccines continue to be the best way pregnant women can keep themselves and their babies safe from this virus.”
The study looked at births between January and August this year.
It shows the stillbirth rate for vaccinated women was 3.35 per 1,000, while for unvaccinated women it was 3.60 per 1,000.
The proportion of tots having a low birthweight was 5.28 per cent for jabbed mother compared to 5.36 in the unjabbed.
The rates of premature births was 6.51 per cent for vaccinated mums, compared to 5.99 per cent for unvaccinated women.
But medics say this is expected, as jabbed women are more likely to be older mothers with underlying health conditions.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “It is clear from the data that pregnant women are more likely to become very unwell if they catch Covid – with one in five of the most critically ill coronavirus patients being unvaccinated expectant mothers.
“This new and encouraging research shows there are no significant concerns about the safety of Covid vaccines in pregnancy, so we will continue to advise midwives and clinicians to give expectant mums the information and support they need to make the right decision for them and their babies.”
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