28 April 2021
Jersey’s vaccination programme will follow the latest guidance issued from the
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.
The JCVI has confirmed there have been no significant safety concerns identified with any brand of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to pregnancy and advises that it is preferable for pregnant women to be given either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: “There is now no known risk associated with giving the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy or when breastfeeding, and the vaccines cannot cause infection in either the mother or her unborn baby.”
“There is now extensive experience of the use of Pfizer and Moderna in the USA, and this data shows nearly 100,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated with no safety concerns being raised. As such, the JCVI has recommended that these vaccines are the preferred vaccines to be offered to pregnant women.
“Every winter, pregnant women are encouraged to have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their baby against the virus, and this is no different.
“I would like to reassure people that these vaccines are safe, effective and that getting vaccinated remains the best way to be protected against COVID-19. Though uncommon, severe illness due to COVID-19 is more likely to happen later in pregnancy. It is important that we encourage as many people as possible to take up the vaccine when it is offered to them.”
Head of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington, said:
“As we move into Phase 2 of the programme and begin to vaccinate more Islanders who are of reproductive age, l’d like to provide reassurance that the vaccines used in the UK and Jersey have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)’s standard of safety.”
“Vaccination will offer pregnant women the best protection from COVID-19. For pregnant women to make an informed choice about receiving the vaccine, I would encourage anyone who has concerns or would like to be vaccinated to speak to their GP, midwife, obstetrician, or healthcare professional when attending for their vaccine.
“Women who are planning pregnancy, have recently given birth, or are breastfeeding can be vaccinated with any of the available vaccines, depending on their age and clinical risk group.
“This month (April 2021) the JCVI advised that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine where possible. We are following this guidance in Phase 2 of our programme.”
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Our COVID-19 vaccination programme has been a huge success, with recent figures showing that well over 70,000 first and second doses of the vaccine have now been given.
“Our vaccination team will continue to work closely with Public Health England and the JCVI to ensure our programme is following the latest, expert advice issued from scientists.
“I would like to thank everyone who has attended for their vaccination. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and to continue on our reconnection pathway.”
The new advice will come into effect from Monday 3 May 2021.