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Do you have questions about vaccinations in pregnancy? Ask the Public Health Scotland experts
54

CeriMumsnet · 09/03/2022 11:40

Created for Public Health Scotland

Are you unsure which vaccines you’re eligible for in pregnancy, or at what stage you should receive them? Perhaps you have concerns about how vaccinations might affect your pregnancy or breastfeeding?

  • Public Health Scotland has invited specialists in midwifery, obstetrics and public health to answer your questions on vaccinations for Covid-19, flu and whooping cough during pregnancy.
    -The experts will be back to answer some of your questions over the next few weeks. So don’t be shy, feel free to ask away!

    Meet the experts

    Bobbie Coughtrie - Senior Charge Midwife, now working as Screening Improvement & Development Manager at NHS Ayrshire and Arran
    'I’ve worked in a variety of settings, including community, antenatal/postnatal, and intrapartum care. Midwifery encompasses everything I value. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to advocate for women, and their families, during a pivotal time in their lives. I am passionate about empowerment and supporting individuals to have the pregnancy and birth they desire. I consider myself to be an ambassador for exceptional and accessible midwifery care for all'

    Karen McAlpine - Midwife, Senior Educator at NHS NES
    'I originally trained to be a midwife in Glasgow in 1990, which began my 32-year career in the role. After working in the city I finally set up home and family in the West coast of Scotland, Argyll and Bute, where I continued my midwifery career in a remote and rural community maternity unit for over 20 years. I now work for NHS Education for Scotland as a Senior Educator and provide maternity and neonatal clinical skills training'

    Dr Sarah Stock - Consultant Obstetrician and Subspecialist in Maternal and Foetal Medicine at Edinburgh Usher Institute
    'My aim is to improve care options for pregnant women and develop strategies that improve the health of their young children. I have a laboratory science background and now primarily focus on carrying out clinical trials and analysing data from across the world to help develop the care of women. My specialist and subspecialist clinical training was undertaken in Edinburgh, with periods in Glasgow, London and Australia'

    Dr Rachael Wood - Consultant at Public Health Scotland and the University of Edinburgh
    'I’m a public health doctor who works in maternal and child health, and currently I co-lead the COVID-19 in Pregnancy in Scotland (COPS) study. Our study monitors COVID-19 infection and vaccination in pregnant women in Scotland. Our findings are helping us to understand both the impact of infection during pregnancy on mums and babies, and the safety and effectiveness of vaccination during pregnancy'

    Here’s what Public Health Scotland has to say

    ^'If you live in Scotland and are pregnant, you’re eligible to get the COVID-19, flu and whooping cough vaccines. We know there’s a lot of information out there (and everyone has an opinion!) so we’re giving you the opportunity to put the questions that really mean a lot to you to a panel of trusted experts...If you have any immediate questions that just can’t wait, or you’d just like to find out more information on vaccines and pregnancy in Scotland, you can visit //www.nhsinform.scot/vaccinesinpregnancy'^

    Thanks!
    MNHQ
    Mumsnet Insight T&Cs apply
Do you have questions about vaccinations in pregnancy? Ask the Public Health Scotland experts
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Hormonal25 · 24/03/2022 09:44

What are peoples views on having the Covid booster during pregnancy, I really don’t know what to do myself

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sarahdavis514 · 25/03/2022 19:59

We’re expecting a little girl in June! We have been working through names for months and the name we truly like the most is, yes, Olivia. We love it and nothing else comes close but of course it’s so popular and we are having trouble deciding if we want to commit to it because of this. Olivia Evangeline.

Our next choice is Sofia. Sofia Elizabeth. In top 5 list are Lily, Camila, and Audrey. Big brother is Luke. We’re also a bilingual family English/Spanish so that is something we’d like to take into consideration.

We’re starting to go a little bonkers trying to make this decision. How do we know if we’ll regret naming her the way popular name if we go with Olivia? Will everyone think we “sold out” with such a super common name? (I know it’s about what we love but that is sometimes how I feel.) Do you have any other suggestions seeing our taste?

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PublicHeathScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:16

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all your interesting questions. We're looking forward to answering them below.

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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:20

@BristolMum96

Is the covid vaccine safe to have on the same day as the regular pregnancy schedule of vaccinations? Such as whooping cough?

Hi @BristolMum96! Thanks for your question about vaccines in pregnancy.

The vaccines recommended during pregnancy are all inactivated – meaning they are not made of live viruses or bacteria – and therefore don’t interact with each other.

They are recommended to be given when you and your unborn baby will get most benefit from them. For example, the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is recommended to be given from 16 week of pregnancy as this will ensure that your baby is born with protection against whooping cough that should last until they are old enough to have their own vaccine at 8 weeks old. The flu vaccine is given at any stage of pregnancy each year during flu season to protect when the virus is circulating in the community and the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended to be given at any stage of pregnancy.

If these vaccines are due to be given at the same time, then it is safe to have them on the same day. However, we would recommend that you take up your offer of vaccination as soon as you are invited, as this will provide the earliest possible protection for you and your baby.

Bobbie
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:23

@Barrawarra

What’s the most recent data about how omicron specifically is affecting pregnant women and babies?

Hi @Barrawarra, thanks you for asking about the affect of Omicron on pregnant women and their babies.

As the Omicron variant is still quite new, we do not yet have a lot of information on how it specifically effects pregnant women and babies.

Our most recent data provides information on confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy up to the end of January 2022.

There was a peak in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy in late December 2021. This was the highest peak seen from the start of the pandemic up to the end of January 2022 and reflects the spread of the Omicron variant.

Our latest data suggests that the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit was lower for pregnant women who had confirmed COVID-19 in December 2021 or January 2022 (and therefore likely had Omicron) compared to women infected earlier in the pandemic (who likely had a previous variant).

However, pregnant women, particularly those with underlying health conditions, are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. If COVID-19 develops late in your pregnancy, the infection could also affect the health of your baby. During the periods when the Alpha and Delta variants of COVID-19 were dominant, COVID-19 was associated with more severe maternal infection and worse pregnancy outcomes than during the period when the original strain was dominant.

Because of this risk, pregnant women became a priority group for vaccination in December 2021. The COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended for pregnant women. The vaccines have a good safety record and are highly effective in protecting against severe infection, complications, and hospital admission. As protective antibodies may cross the placenta, they may also provide additional protection to your unborn baby.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your unborn baby from COVID-19.

Thanks,
Rachael
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:25

@willowtree95

I'm pregnant with my second child Is it worth giving my child who has not yet had chickenpox the chickenpox vaccine to protect my unborn baby? It's likely he will catch it before the baby is born through nursery etc

Hi @willowtree95

Thanks for your question about chickenpox and the chickenpox vaccine.

The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK and it is only recommended for

• healthcare workers who are not already immune, as they could pass on the virus to vulnerable patients if they develop chickenpox
• people living with someone who has a weakened immune system, because if people with a very weakened immune system develop chickenpox they could experience a very severe infection
Most people in the UK have had chickenpox as a child and this gives them long-lasting protection. During pregnancy, protection against chickenpox is passed from the mum to her unborn baby. Although this protection is not long lasting, it does give the baby some protection following birth. Despite chickenpox potentially being severe for some people (such as those with a weakened immune system), it is usually a mild infection during childhood.
For information about chickenpox visit: //www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/chickenpox

Thanks,
Karen
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:28

@ohdannyboy

What are the latest statistics on the levels of protection against the latest and most prevalent virus please - I've heard differing stats

Hi @ohdannyboy

Thanks for your question about how COVID-19 vaccination continues to offer protection against current viral variants and the latest statistics available.

Vaccination remains highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 disease following infection with any viral variant. It is therefore recommended you get all the COVID-19 vaccine doses you are eligible for.

The COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended in pregnancy, including the booster dose, as pregnant women are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease if they get infected. If you live in Scotland and are pregnant you can find out more information and how to get the vaccine at //www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinepregnancy.

As the Omicron variant is still quite new, we do not yet have a lot of information on how it specifically affects pregnant women and babies.

Thanks!
Rachael
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:29

@lovemyflipflops

I am double but not triple jabbed - how long can I wait before the protection gets too low to put me at risk of contracting Covid ?

Hi @lovemyflipflops

Thanks for your question about protection from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Your levels of protection are likely to reduce over time. The COVID-19 vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer-term protection.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends that you have the booster dose from 12 weeks after your second dose. This recommendation is based on evidence that vaccine effectiveness wanes (or diminishes) over time.

If you live in Scotland, you can get your booster dose by:

• booking online at //www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster
• calling 0800 030 8013 to book an appointment
• attending a drop-in clinic if they are available in your area.

The full recommended course - that is getting all the doses that you are eligible for - will give you the best protection against COVID-19.

As pregnant women are at increased risk from COVID-19, vaccine boosters are strongly recommended in pregnancy. Pregnant women have been prioritised as a clinical risk group and can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at any stage during pregnancy.

Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:32

@littlecottonbud

Does having vaccines during pregnancy in the third trimester give any extra protection to the baby, if so how much ?

HI @littlecottonbud!

Thanks for getting in touch about protection from vaccines in pregnancy.

When you are pregnant you will be offered the following vaccines:

• COVID-19
• Flu (if you are pregnant during October – March)
• Whooping cough

The best way to protect you and your baby from serious disease and illness is to get the recommended vaccines at the right time.

You can have more than one vaccine at the same time during pregnancy, however you should not delay getting a vaccine to receive them all at once.

COVID-19
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will provide some protection against COVID-19 for your baby when they are born. If you have the COVID-19 vaccine when you are pregnant, the antibodies you produce cross into your placenta and give some protection to your baby against infection. There is no evidence that vaccination in COVID-19 in late pregnancy provides more protection to your baby than vaccination in early pregnancy, but current recommendations are that you should have a booster if your last COVID-19 vaccination was less than 12 weeks ago.

Flu
The flu vaccine helps protect you and your developing baby against flu during your pregnancy and for at least three months after they are born.

Whooping cough
Getting the whooping cough vaccine will protect your baby from birth, before they start their routine childhood immunisations. The ideal time to have the whooping cough vaccine is between weeks 16 and 32 of your pregnancy, but the sooner you get the vaccine the better.

Most pregnancies progress to term with the babies being born around the time that they were expected, but some women do give birth early. Vaccines take a few weeks to fully activate the immune system, so leaving vaccination until the third trimester may mean that the developing baby is not protected if they are born early (preterm birth). By getting the whooping cough vaccine as close as possible to 16 weeks, more time is given for your body to make antibodies and for these to be passed to your unborn baby. You may still have the vaccine after you are 32 weeks pregnant, but your baby will not have the same level of protection as it would if the vaccination was given earlier in pregnancy.

Hope this helps,
Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:34

@ButterOllocks

I was double jabbed before giving birth, I'm now triple jabbed, what protection would by baby have and for how long - if the antibodies went through to him, and do you know if there is still plans to have an annual covid booster ?

Hi @ButterOllocks

Thanks for asking about protection for your baby and an annual COVID-19 booster.

There is clear evidence that if you have the COVID-19 vaccine when pregnant, the antibodies you produce cross into your placenta and give some protection to your baby after they are born.

We do not know how long the protection lasts, but experience of other vaccines (e.g. pertussis, also known as whooping cough) suggest at least 3 months.

In relation to COVID-19 vaccine boosters, some vulnerable groups are being offered a spring booster dose. The spring booster dose is being offered as a precaution to those at high risk. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will advise of plans for any future booster doses later this year.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Scotland, please visit: //www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine

Thanks,
Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:36

@Chicken669

Hi - I’ve had the covid vaccine three times and every time I had quite bad side effects with feeling flu like, achy, headache etc. Do the side effects affect the baby at all?

And will pregnant people be getting called for boosters soon?

Hi @Chicken669, thanks for your question.

We know that COVID-19 increases the risk of pregnancy complications like preterm birth and stillbirth. Vaccination against COVID-19 is the safest and most effective way for pregnant women to protect themselves from complications of COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown to be safe in pregnancy.

Although short term side effects are common following COVID-19 vaccination, there is no evidence that these cause any problems to the developing baby. However, some of the protection against COVID-19 that you get from vaccination does pass to the baby, helping to protect it when it is born.

Everyone aged 16 years and over is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine booster. If it has been 12 weeks since your second dose, you can have the booster dose.

If you live in Scotland, you can get your booster dose by:

• booking online at //www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster
• calling 0800 030 8013 to book an appointment
• attending a drop-in clinic if they are available in your area.

As pregnant women are at increased risk from COVID-19, vaccine boosters are strongly recommended in pregnancy. Pregnant women have been prioritised as a clinical risk group and can receive the COVID-19 vaccine at any stage during pregnancy.

People aged 75 years and over, and those with a weakened immune system, are also eligible for a spring booster dose.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – the group who advise the UK and devolved Governments on who should be offered vaccinations - will advise of plans for any future booster doses later this year.

Thanks,
Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:39

@jacqui5366

I am really unsure about what vaccines I have, and more importantly those I have not - I've changed doctors twice in 10 years, how easy is it to find out what vaccinations you've had and what you need to have for future protection. (I've had 2 covid jabs - but not the booster.)

Hi @jacqui5366, thanks for your question about vaccines you may have had in the past.

The NHS Inform webpages have information about the vaccines that are recommended as part of the routine UK schedule. Checking these webpages should help you to see what vaccines you would have been recommended to have if you have lived in the UK all your life.

Discussing your vaccination history with your GP before becoming pregnant can help to ensure that you are up to date with all of the vaccines recommended as part of the UK national schedule. This includes vaccines such as MMR, which can’t be given during pregnancy but would protect your unborn baby from infections such as rubella, which can be serious and lead to severe complications, such as blindness.

The vaccines that are important to have during pregnancy are the flu and the COVID-19 vaccines, which can be given at any stage of pregnancy, and the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, which can be given from 16 weeks of pregnancy. Your pertussis vaccine will protect your baby until they are old enough to have their own vaccine at 8 weeks of age.

If you need copies of your vaccination history, you can:

• Ask parents/care givers if they have any vaccination records for you. Every child is issued with a Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) or red book. Your immunisation history should be recorded in this.
• Contact your GP practice. Your GP should have records of all the vaccines you have received. When you change your GP, your previous records are transferred to your new GP practice. Accessing your health records is free and you can find out more information at: www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/health-rights/confidentiality-and-data-protection/health-records#accessing-your-health-records.

Everyone aged 16 years and over is eligible for two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose. If it has been 12 weeks since your second dose you can have the booster dose.

If you live in Scotland, you can get your booster dose by:
• booking online at //www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccinebooster
• calling 0800 030 8013 to book an appointment
• attending a drop-in clinic if they are available in your area.

The full recommended course will give you the best protection against COVID-19.

Thanks,
Bobbie
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:40

@pushchairprincess

You mention whooping cough, I've asked my mum, and she thinks I have not had this vaccine - I've had every other one. What is the risks of not having this vaccine, and what harm would contracting whooping cough have on a pregnancy ?

Hi @pushchairprincess

Thanks for asking about the whooping cough vaccine.

Whooping cough can affect people of any age but babies under 1 year of age are most at risk. For these babies, the disease can be very serious and can lead to pneumonia and permanent brain damage. In the worst cases, it can be life threatening.

The whooping cough vaccine is offered during pregnancy. Getting this vaccine will protect your baby from birth, before they start their routine childhood immunisations.

The immunity you get from the vaccine will be passed to your baby across the placenta. Vaccination is the only way to protect your baby from whooping cough in the first few weeks of their life.

Your protection, from either having whooping cough in the past or being immunised when you were young, will have now worn off. By getting vaccinated during pregnancy, you will also lower your own risk of whooping cough infection and the risk of passing whooping cough to your baby.

Thanks,
Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 10:43

@hannahbjm

Does having the flu vaccination pass onto babies immunity and if so for how long? Thanks

Hi @hannahbjm

Thanks for your question about flu vaccination.

Yes, the flu vaccine helps protect you and your developing baby against flu during your pregnancy. This is for at least three months after they are born.

Karen
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 11:02

@Carriecakes80

I know I didn't have the Whooping cough jab as a baby because back in the 80's Drs told my Nurse Mum that because I suffered from febrile convulsions from birth due to ear problems (I believe) and then I got whooping cough! So, just wondering if the vaccine for Whooping cough does make convulsions worse, or if the data has changed in the last 40 odd years! :-)
Incidentally I'm getting my whooping cough jab tomorrow as I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my fifth!

Hi @Carriecakes80

Thanks for your question about the whooping cough vaccine. It’s great to hear you have now had the vaccine.

I was also unvaccinated against whooping cough as a baby and became seriously ill with whooping cough when I was six years old.

The whooping cough vaccine has changed since then. The one that is used now less likely to cause adverse reactions than the previous version. This is because the version that is used now doesn’t contain the whole whooping cough bacteria like before, but only contains purified parts of the bacteria.

The modern day whooping cough vaccine is safe and effective in adults and children. Like all medicines, it can cause side effects and it’s normal to experience side effects after the vaccine.

These are usually mild and may include:

• redness or tenderness where the vaccine was given
• irritation at the injection site, swelling of the vaccinated arm
• fever
• loss of appetite
• irritability
• headache.

Serious side effects are extremely rare. The risk of febrile convulsions in babies following vaccination is very low (less than 4 per 100,000 vaccinations) and vaccination does not appear to increase the rate of convulsions over the week following vaccination.

It is very clear that the benefits of vaccination against serious illness outweigh any risks, in both adults and children.

Thanks,
Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 11:03

@KeepingAnOpenMind

So you are advising pregnant women to take a new vaccine but a glass of wine or unpasteurised cheese are dangerous. Righty ho.

Hi @KeepingAnOpenMind

There is strong evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect pregnant women and their developing babies against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

You can find out more about the reasons why avoiding or limiting certain food and drink during pregnancy is recommended at: //www.nhsinform.scot/ready-steady-baby/pregnancy/looking-after-yourself-and-your-baby/eating-well-in-pregnancy

Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 30/03/2022 11:07

@MayaWasSackedForGCBeliefs

When I had my first child at 40 I was immune from rubella having been vacinated around age 12. When I had my 2nd child at 43 I had no immunity to rubella - women aren't tested for rubella immunity until they are pregnant when it is too late to be vaccinated. this was a very worring time as there were outbreaks of rubella around me due to lower vaccinations rates in children. I was given a further rubella vaccination shortly after giving birth - thankfully to a heathy baby.

As more and more women in their 40's are having children I think my experience of lost/waned immunity from childhood vaccinations is probably not unusal.

Is there a need for more awareness around this issue? Perhaps rubella immunity testing should be offered to women more routinely?

Hi @MayaWasSackedForGCBeliefs , thanks for your question.

The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy. You should also avoid becoming pregnant for 1 month after having the MMR vaccine. It is best to let your midwife or doctor know if you had the MMR vaccine while you were pregnant. The evidence suggests there will be no harm to your baby, but it's better to let them know.

Testing for immunity to rubella was part of the antenatal screening programme until 2016.

One of the difficulties when testing for immunity is that the tests used by different labs aren’t always accurate in predicting how your immune system will respond to an infection. That is why routine antibody testing is no longer recommended. The best way for women to protect themselves and their developing babies from rubella is to have two doses of MMR vaccine before they become pregnant. The rubella component of the MMR vaccine is very effective and provides long lasting protection.

If you haven’t had two doses of MMR vaccine, your midwife will be able to advise you on how to get vaccinated after your baby is born.

More information on the MMR vaccine can be found on the NHS Inform website, here: www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/vaccines/mmr-vaccine

Sarah
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aliciapaul · 30/03/2022 20:06

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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 07/04/2022 12:44

@sanpellegrinocinnamonbun

I don't usually get the flu vaccination, but should i be considering it now I'm pregnant?

And question number 2, has there been any research on the effect of covid-19 vaccinations on breastfeeding?

Hi @sanpellegrinocinnamonbun! Thanks for your questions.

The Royal College of Midwives recommends all pregnant women have the free flu vaccine every time they are pregnant. During pregnancy, you're at a greater risk of serious flu-related complications such as early labour, low birth weight and stillbirth so need extra protection.

The flu vaccine contains no live viruses and cannot give you flu. It is safe for your baby and for you at any stage of your pregnancy.

The flu vaccine helps protect you and your developing baby against flu during your pregnancy and for at least three months after they are born.

In relation to your second question, if you're breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, and the COVID-19 vaccine can safely be given to women who are breastfeeding. The antibodies you make following vaccination can pass into your breastmilk. These may give your baby some protection against COVID-19.
You should not stop breastfeeding to be vaccinated against COVID-19. You can continue breastfeeding as normal after vaccination.

Thanks,
Karen
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 07/04/2022 12:46

@Bryb

Hi, I've just found out that I'm pregnant, is there a particular stage of pregnancy you would recommend having these vaccines?

Hi @Bryb, thanks for your question.

When you are pregnant you will be offered the COVID-19, flu and whooping cough vaccines.

It's important that pregnant women get all the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including the booster dose, as soon as possible. The COVID-19 can be given at any stage during your pregnancy.

The flu vaccine is offered during flu season, which is usually October to March. It can also be given at any stage during pregnancy.

The ideal time to have the whooping cough vaccine is between weeks 16 and 32 of your pregnancy, but the sooner you get the vaccine the better.

You can have more than one vaccine at the same time during pregnancy, however, you should not delay getting them to receive them all at once.

Bobbie
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swaiyaliley · 13/04/2022 12:04

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GrandDana · 13/04/2022 14:00

My daughter just had her baby. She received the Pfizer 2nd jab at 10 weeks. This is when the baby is forming fingers and toes. She was breech and had a c section. The spinal did not work and she felt everything. The baby was born healthy but with 12 fingers and 12 toes. No history of this in either family. I'm thinking a result of the receiving the shots in the 1st Trimester. She is a nurse and had to have the vaccine to keep her job. My daughter also had post partum preeclampsia and had to be resubmitted to the hospital and administered 24 hour MAG. DOCTORS SHOULD NOT ALLOW PREGNANT WOMEN TO GET THE VACCINE IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER!

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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:12

@Suzyinthesummertime

I'm pregnant and don't need any cohersion, sorry, 'advice' on having the jab. It's simple, I won't be having it. I can't think of anything more irresponsible. At a time when we and our growing child are so vulnerable you want me to introduce an unknown cocktail of God knows what into my system, which hasn't been tested long term and has already been shown to have adverse outcomes in countless pregnancies? No thanks. These 'experts' don't know what it contains either or what the short or long term effects may be. You must be joking

Hi @Suzyinthesummertime. Thanks for sharing your concerns. Getting any vaccine is a personal choice and is not a requirement in Scotland.

Getting vaccinated gives you protection against serious diseases. Once immunised, your body is better at fighting vaccine-preventable diseases if you come into contact with them.

With regards to the COVID-19 vaccine, while it usually takes years to develop a new vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccines were able to be developed quickly because scientists could adapt work they had already carried out on vaccines for other diseases.

Information about what each of the vaccines contain is available at www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/the-vaccines/the-vaccines-used-to-protect-against-coronavirus/

Furthermore, creating a vaccine for COVID-19 was a priority for scientists, various industries and other organisations. There was a huge collaborative effort, with many people working together across the globe with significant resources. This led to phases of the vaccines being developed and completed at the same time, rather than one after the other, meaning a safe vaccine could be developed at a quicker pace than under normal circumstances.

Evidence has not shown any pregnancy-related safety concerns following COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. By contrast, unfortunately, there is growing evidence that COVID-19 infection in pregnancy increases the risk of problems such as preterm birth.
This evidence underpins advice from the JCVI and doctors and midwives caring for pregnant women, which recommends vaccination as the best way for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies from COVID-19.

Rachael
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:14

@fineappleglasgow

I was wondering about pregnant women being offered a second booster jab.

We are not in the eligible criteria for this at present. I am a health/social care worker, also with a long term medical condition and am pregnant. Despite these three areas of risk I am not eligible for a booster going into the third trimester, and I had my booster in September so I imagine my immunity has waned.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! My midwife and also occupational health both seemed confused when I asked.

Hi @fineappleglasgow , thanks for your question.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is responsible for making recommendations on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The JCVI currently recommends that pregnant women receive two primary COVID-19 vaccinations and one booster dose.

Second boosters are currently only being offered to groups at the highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease (specifically adults aged 75 or over, those living in a care home, and individuals with a weakened immune system).

Pregnant women are not currently being offered a second booster dose as the 2 primary + 1 booster level of vaccination continues to provide strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease in groups at more moderate levels of clinical risk (which would include pregnant women).

The JCVI continually reviews its recommendations and has indicated that the need for additional booster vaccinations in groups at the highest and more moderate levels of clinical risk will be kept under review.

Sarah
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:15

@AGC21

Would you recommend continuing breastfeeding whilst pregnant? Some of my friends are currently doing so, when they recently had their booster but I am a bit cautious!

Hi @AGC21, thanks for your question.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known. The antibodies you make following vaccination can pass into your breastmilk and may give your baby some protection against serious diseases.

If you're breastfeeding you can still get the COVID-19 vaccine. These may give your baby some protection against COVID-19. You can also get a booster dose when you are eligible for it.

The COVID-19 vaccine can safely be given to women who are breastfeeding. You do not have to stop breastfeeding to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and you can continue breastfeeding as normal after vaccination.

If you have not had your baby yet, the COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended in pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect pregnant women and their babies against the known risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy. You and your unborn baby cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that pregnant women of any age should be prioritised as a clinical risk group for coronavirus vaccination.

It's important that pregnant women get all the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine can be given at any stage during pregnancy.

Bobbie
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