Health executives are calling for pregnant women to have the Covid-19 autumn booster vaccination.

Manx Care is suggesting that pregnant women discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their GP or midwife, and it is encouraging those at an increased risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 to accept a vaccine booster when offered.

Vaccine boosters (or primary and secondary doses) can be booked by calling 111.

This is in line with advice from the UK Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Extensive real-world data has shown that vaccines are safe and highly effective for pregnant women, Manx Care says.

Vaccines represent the best way to help protect against severe Covid-19 infection in pregnancy for both women and babies, including admissions of women to intensive care, and cases of premature birth. Some women who are pregnant may be considered to be at greater risk of severe illness due to Covid-19 infection, and most pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.

This is why pregnancy was recognised in December 2021 as a Covid-19 vaccine clinical risk category.

There is also no evidence that Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility in males or in females.

The British Fertility Society has more information on its website.

A Manx Care spokesman said: ‘We do encourage unvaccinated women who become pregnant to come forward for Covid-19 vaccination, and women who are pregnant and have previously been vaccinated to come forward for an autumn booster dose.

‘It should be noted that breastfeeding women are only eligible for the autumn booster at this time if they fall into another of the clinical risk categories.’

Pregnant women who decide to have a vaccination are asked to phone 111 to book, and advise the team during the call that they are pregnant so that appropriate bookings can be made.

Contact the maternity unit on 650030 if you have any questions about the vaccine.

Manx Care runs the health service on a day-to-day basis while the Department of Health and Social Care takes care of policy and strategy.