'Walk-in Wednesdays' For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women in Jersey can walk in to Fort Regent without an appointment on any Wednesday to get a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

'Walk in Wednesday' has been introduced to encourage more expectant mothers to get the jab.

Doctor Ivan Muscat is writing to all pregnant women.  His letter includes information about the vaccine and attempts to address any concerns.

The UK Health Security Agency said vaccines are safe for this group, in data published late last month.

Jersey's government says unvaccinated pregnant women who get Covid are more likely to develop complications, with this group making up one in five of the most seriously ill Covid patients in the UK.

Doctor Muscat says the vaccine is a safe and effective way for expectant mothers to protect themselves and their unborn child, and there is absolutely no evidence that Covid causes miscarriage or affects a baby's development.

“Having COVID-19 during pregnancy carries a significantly higher risk than having the vaccine, especially in the third trimester where catching COVID-19 approximately doubles the chance of stillbirth and triples the chance of needing to deliver the baby preterm.

“The vaccine is a safe and effective way for expectant mothers to protect themselves and their unborn child, and there is absolutely no evidence that COVID-19 causes miscarriage or affects your baby’s development.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommend that pregnant women receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as the primary vaccination course, as well as a booster dose, in order to have the best defence against the risks associated with catching COVID-19.”

His comments have been underlined by Dr Fiona Nelson, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist:

“It is so important that pregnant women get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t already. With the virus greatly increasing the risk of severe illness and premature or still birth, vaccination is the best defence expectant mothers can give to their unborn child, as well as themselves.

“With COVID-19 cases increasing on Island and the emergence of the Omicron variant, we are strongly encouraging expectant mothers to book their vaccine – whether that is for their first, second, or booster dose.

“Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women worldwide have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and I hope that newly expectant mothers in Jersey also have the confidence to get vaccinated. I would like to urge those who have already been vaccinated to talk to other expectant mothers about the vaccine, and also encourage those who are hesitant to turn to their midwife for further advice and support.

“At Fort Regent, there are always nurses on hand to answer any concerns, and midwives are also regularly available to talk to pregnant women about the vaccine, so please feel free to come up for a chat.”

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