Can pregnant women get the Covid vaccine? Latest guidance explained - and which jab is most suitable

Evidence on Covid vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe

The Covid vaccination programme in the UK continues to progress, with more than 46 million people having now received their first Covid vaccine dose.

But can those who are currently pregnant receive the vaccine and if so, which jab is most suitable?

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Here’s what you need to know.

Can pregnant women receive the Covid vaccine? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Can pregnant women get the Covid vaccine?

Yes, pregnant women can receive the Covid vaccine.

Public Health England (PHE) said that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered Covid-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group.

In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and no safety concerns have been identified.

Alongside this, evidence on Covid vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

PHE said Covid vaccines offer pregnant women “the best protection against Covid-19 disease which can be serious in later pregnancy for some women.”

The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will give good protection, but you will need the second dose to get longer lasting protection, explains PHE.

If you have already had a first dose of a Covid vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you can then have your second dose with the same vaccine when this is offered.

Which vaccine is best?

Advice from PHE says that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are coming for their first dose.

However, anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose while pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.

If your first dose was the AstraZeneca vaccine you should also consider the information in the COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting leaflet.

Can Covid be serious in pregnancy?

According to PHE, although the overall risk from Covid in pregnant women and their new babies is low, “in later pregnancy some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment”.

Pregnant women with Covid also have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

Women with Covid disease are also two to three times more likely to have their babies early than women without coronavirus, and pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions “are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from Covid-19,” according to PHE.