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

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 //'^

    Mumsnet Insight T&Cs apply
Do you have questions about vaccinations in pregnancy? Ask the Public Health Scotland experts
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:16


It seems like a lot of people are getting Covid again, will there be another booster available? What is the best way to protect myself while pregnant?

Hi @rosiegoodwin5432, thanks for asking about whether there will be future booster doses, and the best way to protect yourself while pregnant.

Vaccination remains the best way for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies against the known risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy. It's important that pregnant women get all the doses that are recommended for them (currently 2 primary doses and 1 booster) as soon as possible. The vaccine can be given at any stage during pregnancy.

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.

In addition to vaccination, other things you can do to protect yourself from catching COVID-19 include following guidance on washing your hands, wearing a face covering, and ensuring good ventilation
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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:18


Are the side effects of the vaccine risky in early pregnancy? Like having a fever aches and pains ect

Hi @basdad ! Thanks for your question about side effects of vaccines during pregnancy.

It’s normal to experience side effects after the vaccine. It shows the vaccine is teaching your body’s immune system how to protect itself from the disease, however not everyone gets them.

Most of these are mild and normally last only a day or two. They may include:
• having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
• headache or muscle ache
• chills
• nausea or vomiting
• diarrhoea
• feeling tired
• fever (temperature above 37.8°C).

You may also have flu-like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or two.
These common side effects are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus and they usually go away within a few days.

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

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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:19


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

Hi @Hormonal25, thanks for your question about the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

As pregnant women are at increased risk from coronavirus, the COVID-19 booster vaccine is 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.

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.

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PublicHealthScotlandexperts · 19/04/2022 09:21

That's all from us! We've really enjoyed answering your questions and we hope we've been able to share some useful guidance. If you'd like any more information, you can visit

Best wishes for your pregnancies!
Bobbie, Karen, Sarah and Rachael

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