A fifth of serious Covid cases are pregnant women

NHS England said that between July 1 and September 30 some 17 per cent of Covid patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were mothers-to-be who had not had their first dose of the vaccine.

Health chiefs said data also showed that pregnant women accounted for 32 per cent of all females aged between 16 and 49 in intensive care on a method used when a patient’s lungs are so damaged that a ventilator is insufficient.

This figure has risen from six per cent at the beginning of the pandemic.

Chief midwife Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, warned that the data was “another stark reminder that the jab can keep you, your baby and your loved ones safe and out of hospital”.

NHS England said data from more than 100,000 Covid vaccinations in pregnancy in England and Scotland, and a further 160,000 in the US, show there has been no subsequent harm to the foetus or infant.

Mother-to-be Claire Bromley spent almost a month in hospital with coronavirus and said she feels the risk of being unjabbed “far outweighs any doubts” about getting a vaccination.

The 33-year-old was admitted to her local hospital in Kent with breathing difficulties just a few days after testing positive for the virus, and was then put on a ventilator while in a medically induced coma.

When her condition deteriorated, medics thought she might need an emergency C-section just 26 weeks into her pregnancy and she was transferred to hospital in London.

But her condition improved and she was allowed home in early August, almost a month after first being admitted, and is now recovering with her husband Sam and their unborn child, who is doing well.

She said: “I completely understand the hesitation not to get vaccinated when you are growing a child inside you, and, after experiencing two miscarriages before the pandemic, the fear of being pregnant again with the worry of Covid was sending my anxiety through the roof.

“But, after what happened, I can honestly say that the risk of not having the Covid vaccine far outweighs any doubts about having it.”

Dr Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said medics understand women’s concerns but want to offer reassurance that the vaccine is safe.

He said the “disproportionate” number of unvaccinated pregnant women in intensive care shows there is a “significant risk of severe illness from Covid-19 in pregnancy”.

He added: “We are urgently calling for all pregnant women to come forward for their vaccinations.

“There is robust evidence showing that the vaccine is the most effective way to protect both mother and baby against the possibility of severe illness from Covid-19.

“The disproportionate number of unvaccinated pregnant women in intensive care demonstrates that there is a significant risk of severe illness from Covid-19 in pregnancy.

“We do understand women’s concerns about having the vaccine in pregnancy, and we want to reassure women that there is no link between having the vaccine and an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth.”

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