Covid vaccine: having a coronavirus jab while pregnant ‘not linked to stillbirth’, study suggests

If you’re pregnant you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
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Having a Covid-19 vaccine while pregnant will not lead to babies being stillborn or being born early, a new study has suggested.

Academics in Canada analysed data on 85,162 births where half of the mothers had received a Covid jab during pregnancy.

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They found that vaccination was not linked to a heightened risk of pre-term birth, was not linked to babies being born smaller than expected and was not associated with babies being stillborn.

Most of the women had received an mRNA jab - namely those manufactured by Pfizer or Moderna - and researchers found that whichever jab they had, the findings were consistent.

The researchers also said that the findings were similar whichever trimester the woman was vaccinated in and that they were similar regardless of the number of vaccine doses women received during pregnancy.

The authors wrote in The BMJ: “The findings suggest that vaccination against Covid-19 during pregnancy is not associated with a higher risk of preterm birth, small for gestational age at birth, or stillbirth.

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“These findings can help inform evidence based decision making about the risks and benefits of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy”.

Who can receive the Covid vaccine?

Everyone aged five and over can get a first and second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

People aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, can also get a booster dose.

People aged 5 and over who had a severely weakened immune system when they had their first two doses, will be offered a third dose before any booster doses.

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People aged 75 and over, people who live in care homes for older people, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, will be offered a spring booster.

You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. If you book online, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you.

Most people can have any of the Covid-19 vaccines, but some people are only offered certain vaccines, for example:

  • if you’re pregnant or under 40 you’ll usually be offered appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines
  • if you’re under 18, you’ll only be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

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