When the UK’s jab programme began, expectant mothers were told to steer clear – so Samantha decided to wait until she had had her baby. Two weeks after giving birth, she died in hospital from Covid.
Samantha was unvaccinated – she had received advice against getting jabbed at an antenatal appointment.
When the Covid vaccine programme began in the UK on 8 December 2020, pregnant women were told not to get vaccinated.
But in October 2020, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) published guidance warning that “intensive care admission may be more common in pregnant women with Covid-19 than in non-pregnant women of the same age” and that pregnant women with Covid were three times more likely to have a preterm birth.
Further evidence emerged in 2021 indicating that pregnant women were particularly vulnerable to Covid, especially in their final trimester. Research from the University of Washington, published in January, found that pregnant women were 13 times more likely to die from Covid than people of a similar age who were not pregnant.
But throughout February and March, the JCVI’s scientists did not appear especially concerned about examining the case for vaccinating pregnant women. Priority in the early stages of the vaccine programme was being given to older people, so many pregnant women remained towards the back of the queue.
The maternity campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed said: “If you look at who was on the Covid war cabinet and leading the daily briefing, it was nearly all men,” says Joeli Brearley, its founder. “Pregnant women were treated as if they were very similar to the general population, rather than being seen as a special cohort that needs special consideration. They were just not a priority.”
Read full story
Source: The Guardian, 23 November 2021