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Covid-19 jab remains safe for pregnant women, says the MHRA, as viral social media post shares out of date information





Covid-19 jabs remain safe for pregnant women, say health experts, after the group became the target for a number of false vaccine claims.

Confusion began when a social media post started circulating, sharing a now out-of-date health report from 2020, which said reassurance about the jab's safety couldn't yet be given because there wasn't enough data available connecting the new vaccines to those expecting or feeding a baby.

The now outdated document, which is understood to have been published in December 2020, read: "sufficient reassurance of safe use of the vaccine in pregnant women cannot be provided at the present time" followed by a further line that stated "women who are breastfeeding should also not be vaccinated".

An outdated report has been shared on social media in recent days but health officials say its information no longer applies. Image: Stock photo.
An outdated report has been shared on social media in recent days but health officials say its information no longer applies. Image: Stock photo.

While this information was indeed true at the time issued during the very early stages of the global pandemic and scientists' response to it, health officials say there is now mountains of data from around the world which has since been collected and no link has been found between the vaccine and any issues either during pregnancy or after birth.

Further misunderstanding is thought to have also been caused because a different part of the same webpage, carrying the now out-of-date information, had in fact been updated in August 2022 to include information about boosters - making it appear as if the official advice for those pregnant and breastfeeding had also been altered.

With the social media post quickly turning viral and appearing on numerous platforms in recent days, health officials - which are this week beginning the autumn booster roll-out - have stepped in to reassure any worried families and clear up the confusion.

The medicines regulator says the Covid-19 jab remains safe for pregnant women and its advice hasn't changed. Image: iStock.
The medicines regulator says the Covid-19 jab remains safe for pregnant women and its advice hasn't changed. Image: iStock.

In a statement, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said there has been no change to its latest advice on both the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines for those who are expecting a baby or breastfeeding.

The vaccines, it says, remain safe and effective and that substantial evidence has now been gathered by medics to prove this and the jab remains a vital tool in protecting those who are pregnant from falling seriously ill with the virus.
The statement says : "We are aware of false claims on social media that our advice on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding has changed.

"We would like to reassure the public that our advice has not changed.

"Our advice remains that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy and breastfeeding and there is substantial evidence to support this advice."

The NHS is starting to invite 26 million people for a booster jab
The NHS is starting to invite 26 million people for a booster jab

The NHS has this week begun the roll out of its autumn booster campaign - with an estimated 26 million people expected to be offered a coronavirus jab to protect them during the winter months.

The latest vaccination programme is beginning in care homes before invitations are issued to older people, frontline health workers and those with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems.

The health service says it will contact people when it is their turn to book in for the vaccine and people don't need to contact their local surgery to inquire about an appointment.

The autumn booster will be offered to millions of people from healthcare workers to the vulnerable
The autumn booster will be offered to millions of people from healthcare workers to the vulnerable

NHS director of vaccinations and screening Steve Russell said: "NHS staff are set to pull out all the stops to deliver the next phase of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme at speed once again, with more than 3,000 sites up and down the country involved.

"From Wednesday, over seven million people who are over 75, immunocompromised or a frontline health and care worker will be able to book an appointment from the following week – and if you are receiving an invite then please book in at the earliest opportunity to get the maximum protection ahead of winter."



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