Covid-19: 467 further cases confirmed in the State

HSE urges pregnant women to take vaccine, says no negative effect on babies in the womb

A healthcare worker draws a dose of the Johnson&Johnson  Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A healthcare worker draws a dose of the Johnson&Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

A further 467 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team.

There are 38 people in ICU, and 99 in hospital. The Dephartment of Health added that daily case numbers may change due to future data review, validation and update.

Meanwhile, 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 and offering them a consultation to discuss the vaccine with their obstetric caregiver. The HSE said this could be a midwife, GP or obstetrician.

Women whose pregnancy is between 14 and 36 weeks are being encouraged by the HSE to take up the Covid-19 vaccine
Women whose pregnancy is between 14 and 36 weeks are being encouraged by the HSE to take up the Covid-19 vaccine

Following this consultation, people can be vaccinated by the hospital or referred to a vaccination centre.

The HSE is looking at starting an information campaign around the benefits of the vaccine for pregnant women after it emerged just one in five pregnant women offered the Covid-19 vaccine in some of the State’s maternity hospitals have taken up the offer.

The acceptance of the vaccines varies widely, ranging between 20 and 60 per cent across all maternity hospitals, with about 3,800 pregnant women vaccinated under the programme out of a total of 12,000 consultations.

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.

“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 –PA