Covid vaccine won’t impact fertility but getting virus when pregnant ‘raises risk of premature birth’

THE Covid vaccine won't impact fertility – but getting the virus while pregnant raises the risk of a premature birth.

A study found women who catch the bug were more likely to deliver their baby early.

The researchers at the the University of California found in some cases some women gave birth less than 32 weeks into their pregnancy.

They noted there is a 60 per cent increased risk of very preterm birth in women who catch the virus while pregnant.

It comes as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there is no risk of fertility problems after having the vaccine.

It said the numbers of reports of miscarriages and stillbirth are "low in relation to the number of pregnant women who have received Covid-19 vaccines to date and how commonly these events occur in the UK outside of the pandemic".

"Pregnant women have reported similar suspected reactions to the vaccines as people who are not pregnant," it added.

The MHRA said it is currently reviewing reports of suspected side effects of menstrual disorders and unexpected vaginal bleeding after being vaccinated, but has so far found nothing to support a link between changes to menstrual periods and related symptoms and coronavirus jabs, adding "the menstrual changes reported are mostly transient in nature".

Pregnant women who do get symptomatic Covid-19 are two to three times more likely to give birth to their baby prematurely.

In April, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updated its guidance to say that pregnant women should be offered a Covid-19 jab at the same time as the rest of the population based on their age and clinical risk group.

Last month, health officials encouraged pregnant women to get vaccinated when data published by NHS England and the University of Oxford showed that the majority of pregnant women admitted to hospital with the virus had not received a jab.

Health chiefs have also urged pregnant women to get their vaccination.

Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We recommend vaccination in pregnancy as it’s the most effective way of protecting women and their babies from severe illness and premature birth.

“We are concerned that increasing rates of Covid-19 infection will adversely impact pregnant women. Of the pregnant women in hospital with Covid-19 last week, 95 per cent were unvaccinated.

"We hope this reassuring data will help those undecided consider taking up the offer of a vaccine.”

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “While uncommon, severe illness from Covid-19 is more likely in later pregnancy and infection increases the risk of a premature birth.

"The Covid-19 vaccines are one of the best defences against infection, preventing at least 11.7 million infections in England alone.”

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