Great Britain

Covid vaccine trial for pregnant women launched after fears for mums-to-be in hospital

HUNDREDS of pregnant women have been urged to come forward to participate in a Covid vaccine trial.

Today the government announced it would be investing £7.5 million into the study which will help determine the best gap between jabs for pregnant women.

Data shows that vaccines are both highly safe and effective for pregnant women and mum's-to-be have been urged to come forward for their jabs.

Around 98 per cent of women who ended up in hospital with the bug have not been jabbed.

The Preg-CoV study will be led by a team at St George’s, University of London and will provide vital data on the immune response to vaccination at different dose intervals - either four to six weeks or eight to 12 weeks. 

The trial will involve 600 pregnant women and they will be given jabs that have already been approved for use - the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna jab.

Women between the age of 18 and 44 can sign up here and will have to be between 13 and 34 weeks pregnant on the day of vaccination.

In order to participate, the women won't be able to have any underlying health conditions.

They will have to attend nine meetings in total and will also have a number they can call 24 hours a day if they need help or support.

Blood samples from the participants will be taken, as well as one blood sample from their newborn babies.

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Samples will also be taken from breastmilk.

These samples will help the scientists understand more about how vaccines are protecting both mum and baby.

The full trial data is expected to come through at the end of the year and women will have jabs later this month.

Chief Investigator and Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St George's, University of London, Professor Paul Heath said: “Tens of thousands of pregnant women have now been vaccinated in both the US and the UK with no safety concerns reported, but we still lack robust, prospective clinical trial data on Covid-19 vaccines in pregnant women.

The 13 hospitals where you can take part in the trial

Here's the list of the 13 places that are participating in the Preg-CoV study

  1. St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  2. University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  3. St Michael’s Hospital, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust
  4. Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
  5. Leeds General Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  6. St. Helier Hospital, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust 
  7. Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  8. Princess Royal Hospital, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
  9. Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust
  10. The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  11. Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  12. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  13. Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

"This includes the best schedule to use to maximally protect them against Covid-19.

“We are extremely pleased to commence the Preg-CoV trial, which aims to fill these gaps in our knowledge and will ultimately inform policy recommendations on the optimal use of Covd-19 vaccines in pregnancy.”

So far in the UK over 46.8 million Brits have received a Covid jab, with 38.4 million also having had a second.

Vaccine have been hailed as the way out of the pandemic and while no jab is 100 per cent effective - vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of severe illness.

Analysis from PHE and the University of Cambridge also suggests vaccines have so far prevented over 52,600 hospitalisations, an estimated 22 million infections and more than 60,000 deaths in England alone.

There will be 13 sites across the country that women can go to to participate in the trial and people from all ethnic backgrounds have been encouraged to apply.

Dr Pat O’Brien, Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said more research is needed to monitor and understand how pregnant women respond to the vaccines.

“We encourage all pregnant women to get vaccinated, as the protection that it provides against Covid-19 to both mother and baby outweigh the risks.

"We are seeing more pregnant women being admitted to hospital with Covid-19, and we know that the Delta variant is causing more pregnant women to have severe illness than previous strains of the virus.

“We hope that this research will help to gain the confidence of pregnant women that the recommendation of vaccination in pregnancy is based on robust evidence", Dr O'Brien added.

Dad shows how he eases back pain for his nine-month pregnant wife and parents love the tip

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