Covid19 vaccine and pregnancy - Update Health Board and JCVI Guidance
Please see below –
- VACCINATION AND PREGNANCY - An update to the ‘Green Book’ chapter on COVID vaccination has been published. This is the official advice in the UK on vaccination against COVID. Among the more important updates is that to the advice on vaccination in pregnancy. Although clinical trials on the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy are not advanced, the available data do not indicate any harm to pregnancy. JCVI has advised that women who are pregnant should be offered vaccination at the same time as non-pregnant women, based on age and clinical risk.
The Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines to offer to pregnant women because these have the largest amount of safety data on administration in pregnancy with no concerns to date. The advice is that clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the pregnant woman, including discussing the limited evidence of safety for the vaccine in pregnancy. There are local arrangements to facilitate pregnant women to access Pfizer vaccination after appropriate counselling from a healthcare professional.
At the same time the updated Chapter confirms that JCVI advises that breastfeeding women can be offered a non-live vaccine against COVID (Pfizer BioNTech) if they wish to take up an offer of vaccination but continue to breastfeed. This advice recognises that there is still not full safety data for vaccination while breastfeeding.
Click here to view the joint statement from The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and British Fertility Society (BFS) regarding the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists and the British Fertility Society have created a document in response to questions that patients have been asking about Covid-19 vaccines and fertility. Please click here to view the document.
The availability of safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19 offers a way for many of our patients to protect themselves against this disease, and access fertility treatment safely.
These FAQs were created on 8th February 2021 and are correct at the time of publication. Please be aware that the speed of scientific research in this area is very rapid. Hence, we advise any concerned person to always discuss their individual situation with their health care provider.
For the latest information from ESHRE on the Covid-19 Vaccination and Assisted Reproduction click here
For information from January's ARCS-BFS Joint Working Group on the Covid-19 Vaccination click here
For vaccination advice from the JCVI from 2nd December 2020 can be found below:
As information is rapidly changing we will aim to keep you updated.
Please see the statement below published by the HFEA and effective from 2nd November 2020:
HFEA statement on fertility treatment services – effective 2nd November
On Saturday 31 October the Prime Minister announced a second lockdown in England beginning, subject to Parliamentary approval, on Thursday 5 November. This follows earlier decisions by the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to introduce a variety of similar measures.
Fertility patients are understandably anxious at this time and in the light of these developments we are issuing a further statement to set out our position on fertility treatment across the UK and the expectations we have of clinics.
At this current time we have no plans to implement a national closure of fertility clinics. HFEA licensed clinics have incorporated safe ways of working for patients and clinic staff during the ongoing pandemic as set out in their Treatment Commencement Strategy in May 2020.
At this time, none of the governments across the UK are suggesting that patients should postpone treatment – for example the updated guidance coming into force on Thursday in England includes permission to be outside your home “for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies.”
However, with Covid19 cases increasing and hospital admission and death rates predicted to be significantly higher than in the first wave, we expect clinics to promptly review their policies and procedures to ensure renewed detailed action plans are integrated into clinical care immediately.
We expect all clinics to demonstrate how their service can be safely maintained and how they can minimise any possible further impact on the wider NHS, for example by doing all they can to minimise referrals to emergency care. Clinics should consider implementing a freeze all strategy and risk assess patients to identify those at greater risk of requiring NHS care.
We will closely monitor the situation and request that any referrals made by licensed clinics to an NHS facility other than their own clinic be reported through the HFEA incident reporting system. We expect clinics to continue to follow professional and local guidance and let us know immediately if there is a local decision to suspend the services they provide.
Looking ahead, the HFEA will continue to review any new guidance produced by the Government and devolved administrations, the NHS and Professional Societies and make further statements as necessary.
22nd October 2020
Here at WFI we are aware of the anxiousness that can be caused to our patients by the ongoing almost daily changes to the current COVID19 pandemic. We would wish to offer all of our patients and service users our assurance that we will endeavour to remain providing a very COVID19 safe service. We are mindful that we work within the remit of the Swansea Bay University Health Board and also the wider NHS. With this in mind our aim is to remain open for as long as we are able. There are no current plans to consider closing the WFI service.
Whilst we are going into another 'fire-break' lockdown we are remaining open and would encourage our patients to adhere with government lockdown regulations to ensure the continued safety of both our patients and our staff.
The HFEA do not anticipate a national closure of licensed clinics however there may be local circumstances that have an effect and that may cause this to happen. In light of the current situation continual review is required.
As we head into another uncertain and challenging time caused by COVID 19, there have been a vast number of changes to our service since re-opening our clinics.
We have been required to work very differently and whilst this has not been without its challenges, our staff have been working very hard to ensure that the safety of both staff and patients remains our priority.
Although the required changes to our service has resulted in a lengthened pathway for some patients, which has ultimately resulted in an overall longer waiting time, we appreciate your patience and support whilst we continue to work through embedding these new working practices.
Your on-going support and understanding has been invaluable.
Support counselling is available for all patients who wish to access this. Please contact the clinic to access this service.