Ninety-nine per cent of pregnant women who have been admitted to hospital with Covid were unvaccinated, a study by the University of Oxford suggests, as doctors and midwives urged expectant mothers to get the jab.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and up to July 11, more than 3,300 pregnant women have been admitted to hospital with the virus, according to data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System.
But only four per cent of those admitted since Feb 1 had received a single dose of vaccine and none had been double jabbed.
The figure of 742 women admitted since that date means 99 per cent were unvaccinated. About 60 per cent of the general population who were hospitalised with Covid were unvaccinated during the period studied by Oxford University.
Around 55,000 pregnant women have received one or two doses of a Covid vaccine, and the study authors said the data show the jabs were therefore offering significant protection.
The study, published on medRxiv – meaning it is not yet peer-reviewed – also showed that babies born to mothers when the alpha variant was in circulation were more likely to require admission for neonatal care compared to those born in the first wave.
Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, the chief midwifery officer for England, urged expectant mothers to take the vaccine as she said the data were "another stark reminder" about the protection the jab can offer.