Routinely offering vaccination against Covid-19 during pregnancy is now being recommended, as "risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 infection are significantly higher", says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
"Interestingly, vaccinating during pregnancy may also help protect the baby as there is evidence infants can get antibodies to the virus through both cord-blood while in utero and also breast milk during breast feeding," Bloomfield said today.
Bloomfield said it would be recommended that "pregnant people are now routinely offered Covid-19 vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of the pregnancy".
"This is because the technical advisers have agreed the risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19 infection are significantly higher for pregnant people than they are for the general population."
He said data from around the world showed there was not additional safety concerns with Covid-19 vaccines and with the Pfizer vaccine during pregnancy.
Pregnant people have been in group three since the framework's announcement in March, with guidelines previously advising pregnant people to discuss the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.
Those in group three, which include people at high risk of becoming very sick from Covid-19, are currently able to receive their Covid-19 vaccine.