By Cate McCurry, PA
Pregnant women are being offered the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines following a recommendation by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).
Women whose pregnancy is between 14 and 36 weeks are being encouraged by the HSE to take up the Covid-19 vaccine when it is offered to them.
All 19 maternity hospitals/units in Ireland are contacting pregnant women, offering them a consultation to discuss the vaccine with their obstetric caregiver. The HSE said this could be a midwife, GP or obstetrician.
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) May 28, 2021
Following this consultation, people can be vaccinated by the hospital or referred to a vaccination centre.
Dr Peter McKenna, national clinical director of the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme, said: “The information we have so far shows that the Covid-19 vaccines do not have any negative effect on babies in the womb.
“We would strongly encourage people to consider taking up their vaccine when offered as it greatly reduces the chances of you becoming unwell from the Covid-19 virus.”
Dr McKenna added: “Unfortunately, the process of vaccinating pregnant women has been hampered by the cyberattack on the HSE’s IT system over the last week.
“Maternity units have had to come up with innovative ways to contact women about their vaccine, as they are without access to Patient Information Systems, or the Electronic Health Record that supports the hospitals.
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) May 27, 2021
“Many maternity hospitals have set up helplines for pregnant women who wish to access this pathway.
“Based on the information we have, so far over 12,000 women have had a consultation with their obstetric caregiver about a Covid-19 vaccine.”
More than 3,800 women had either received a vaccine or had an appointment for a vaccine to date.
Most maternity hospitals and units were discussing Covid-19 vaccines with pregnant women and registering their interest so they could be booked for a jab.
Updated information about the Covid-19 vaccine was available on the HSE website.