As vaccines in the UK are rolled out for the population, there are a number of concerns for many people receiving the newly approved vaccines. This guide will explain the reasons for the vaccine and reassurances that the vaccine will be beneficial for all.
The different vaccines available
In the UK, you should receive a letter stating that you are ready to receive your vaccine, or alternatively you’ll be able to call your GP or a local vaccination centre to arrange an appointment.
There are 3 main types of vaccine available currently:
For the majority of people that are pregnant they are offered appointments for either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, but according to the NHS, most people are able to have any of the available vaccines.
You will receive two doses of the same vaccine, unless you receive serious side effects from your first dose.
There can be some side effects for everyone to be aware of, such as a sore arm, feeling achy or becoming nauseous. There are also more serious side effects like blood clotting and possible allergic reactions to the vaccine, which are rare.
The most important part is that if you’re pregnant or currently breastfeeding you will still be able to have your vaccine. Previously, the majority of pregnant women were unable to have the COVID-19 vaccine unless they were in a high risk bracket, but this guidance has now changed after further research has been conducted.
If you’re breastfeeding, there is also minimal risk to think about. COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through breast milk. However, the vaccine you have will depend on your age and if you have any underlying health conditions when you are breastfeeding. For those, the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are the ones most recommended to pregnant or breastfeeding people.
While it is ultimately your own decision to make, it’s recommended that pregnant people arrange to take the COVID-19 vaccine when possible. Those that are pregnant are neither more nor less likely to contract the virus. It’s also rare for pregnant people to become seriously ill if they do contract COVID-19, though it can be more likely in the later stages of a pregnancy.
The NHS also recommends you keep in regular touch with your doctor or midwife to protect the health of you and your baby. Any concerns or questions you have should be followed up with the maternity team looking after you through the process.