Dr. Hilary Jones of Good Morning Britain has explained why pregnant women cannot yet receive the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine.
News came on Wednesday that the Pfiezer / BioNTech vaccine, which has a 95% effectiveness rate, is now approved in the UK.
It could be rolled out as early as next week, prioritizing health workers, nursing home residents, nursing home staff and the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
But host Ben Shephard told Dr. Hilary that many pregnant women had interacted with the show and wondered if they could get the vaccine.
Dr. Hilary explained that pregnant women cannot receive the vaccine until more research is done on animals to determine whether the vaccine causes harm during pregnancy.
He said: “Currently the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Vaccination says that we have not yet done enough work on pregnancy to say with confidence that they should be vaccinated.
“And we always take absolute precautions with any medication or procedure during pregnancy because of the risk to unborn babies.
“I’m not saying there is a risk, but we don’t know, so it makes absolutely sense to say we need to be careful until we roll out the vaccine to many more people and animal studies to make sure there is no harm to the fetus.
“It is likely that pregnant women are not vaccinated, just as we do not vaccinate children under the age of 16”.
Dr. Hilary also said nursing home residents will rely on the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, which has not yet been approved.
The approved Pfiezer / BioNTech vaccine presents many logistical problems as it must be stored at -70/80 degrees.
This means that nursing home residents will rely on the Oxford vaccine, which only needs to be kept in the refrigerator for approval.
“That can be a few days or weeks off,” he added.
* Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am