PREGNANT women can still get the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – but they must check with their GP first.
Experts issued the latest advice after reviewing the risk of brain blood clots following the jab.
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Speaking at a press conference today, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chairman of the Commission on Human Medicines, said the advice remains the same for women expecting a baby.
He said that the current data suggests expectant mothers should continue to consult a healthcare professional before booking a vaccine appointment to discuss "if the benefits outweigh the risks".
People with a history of blood clotting should only consider the AZ jab when the benefits outweigh the risks.
And anyone who experiences a cerebral blood clot with low platelets after the AZ vaccine should not have their second dose.
It was also announced that the AZ Covid jab won't be offered to Brits under 30 amid fears of rare blood clots.
People aged 18-29, including those who are pregnant, will be given an alternative vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna after clotting cases throughout Europe.
A pregnant woman can get a Covid vaccine if she and her doctor believe the benefits will outweigh any risks.
Guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says jabs should be considered for pregnant women when their risk of exposure to the virus is high and cannot be avoided.
This advice is also given by The World Health Organization (WHO).
However, the JCVI has also said women with underlying conditions that place them at higher risk of severe Covid or death should consider the jab.
It means pregnant women who are eligible to get the jab are among the priority groups, and should receive a dose before mid-April.
The NHS will contact those who are eligible.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says "the decision whether to have the vaccination in pregnancy is your choice".
Breastfeeding women can also receive a vaccine after previously being advised against it.
But the RCOG says women should be advised that there is a lack of safety data for vaccinations in breastfeeding.
What vaccines does the UK have?
- Oxford and AstraZeneca: 100 million doses ordered – currently only recommended for over-30s only
- BioNTech and Pfizer: 40 million doses ordered – currently being given to anyone eligible
- Moderna: 17 million doses ordered – currently being given to anyone eligible in Wales
On the way:
- Janssen: 30 million doses ordered – use expected from July
- Valneva: 100 million doses ordered
- Novavax: 60 million doses ordered
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur: 60 million doses ordered
Women trying to become pregnant can also get a Covid vaccine.
There is no evidence to suggest that getting the jab will have any effect on fertility.
The large clinical trials that proved the current Covid vaccines worked did not include women who knew they were pregnant.
This is because vaccine clinical trials typically avoid recruiting participants who are pregnant or breastfeeding until the jabs are shown to be safely tolerated in people who are not pregnant.
A very small number of women became pregnant after they received the vaccine in a trial.
And although there was no sign of problems, the numbers were too small to be certain.
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