'Vaccination remains our best line of defence', is the message from Northamptonshire’s Director of Public Health.
It comes as a further 2,639 residents in Northamptonshire test positive in the last week and fresh research reinforces findings on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy.
Pregnant mothers urged to get vaccinated
The local Public Health team is urging pregnant mothers to come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine as the latest data released from The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows further evidence of the safety of vaccines for pregnant mothers and their children.
Data shows that vaccinated women who gave birth between January and October 2021 had a very similar low risk of stillbirth, low birthweight and premature birth compared to women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy.
Previous studies have shown the risk of being severely ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) is higher for unvaccinated women. Out of 235 pregnant women who were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 between January and September 2021, none had received two doses of vaccine.
The latest analysis also shows that women who had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine during their pregnancy and gave birth between April and October 2021 were more likely to give birth without any of the reported adverse outcomes than women who had not been vaccinated in pregnancy (92.9% compared with 91.6%). This difference was more apparent in those aged 30 years and older.
Further findings are below:
- The stillbirth rate for vaccinated women who gave birth was approximately 3.6 per 1,000, a similar rate for women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy (3.9 per 1,000).
- The proportion of vaccinated women giving birth to babies with low birthweight (5.01%) was lower than the proportion for women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy (5.33%).
- The proportion of premature births was 5.97% for vaccinated women, similar to the 5.88% in women who were not vaccinated in pregnancy.
Covid remains a dangerous disease, particularly if you haven’t been vaccinated. Vaccination remains our best line of defence against COVID-19 and latest data released from The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows further evidence of the safety of vaccines for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.Lucy Wightman - Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils
It's strongly recommended that you get vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. You're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you're pregnant and if you get COVID-19 late in your pregnancy, your baby could also be at risk.
If you have not had a COVID-19 vaccine yet, it's recommended to get your first 2 doses as soon as possible. You do not need to delay vaccination until after you have given birth.
It's preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because these vaccines have been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and no safety concerns have been identified. If you've already had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for your 1st dose and did not have any serious side effects, you should have it again for your 2nd dose. If you had a 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago, you can get a booster dose.
You'll be able to discuss having a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy at your vaccination appointment. You can also speak to a GP or your maternity team for advice. Remember, it is scientifically proven that the vaccines cannot give you or your baby COVID-19.
There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, however if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the local and national public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
Covid-19 in the county this week
This week's analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 21 to 27 February 2022, shows:
- 2,639 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Of this number, 277 were reinfection cases. ‘Reinfections’ are a new measurement now appearing in the county’s weekly data surveillance report and are defined as, ‘an infection of COVID- 19 from any of the variants after 90 days from the date of the last positive test.’
- Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 413.5. West Northamptonshire’s rate is 442.9. Both are significantly higher than the national average (333.5).
- The highest rates locally are Northampton (458.6) and South Northamptonshire (440.3).
- Eight people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test.
- Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.
- The age group with the most positive cases was 30-39.
- 10-19-year-olds had the most reinfections, likely due to school environments.
View the weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report