The clinic is open to all pregnant women under the care of Newcastle Hospitals, including those who have just had a baby.
It is recommended that those who are pregnant and have not yet been vaccinated, consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible and book their second doses as soon as they are eligible. Booster vaccinations are also available, if you are due one.
Claire Lisle, public health midwife at Newcastle Hospitals hopes that providing those who are pregnant with a drop-in clinic within the maternity department will encourage more pregnant women to get their vaccine.
Claire said: “We’re delighted to be offering the COVID-19 vaccination within our maternity unit. We’re now in our second week and hope that women will continue to access the service and protect themselves and their baby against COVID-19 and associated risks.”
“The clinic is open to all pregnant women under our care so if they are coming into the hospital for a routine maternity appointment – or simply want to call in – they can receive their vaccine.”
Pregnant women are at risk of getting severely ill with COVID-19, particularly in the third trimester. Data has shown that COVID-19 during pregnancy can be very serious, resulting in a higher chance of needing intensive care and a higher risk of premature birth for the baby.
Dr Ken Hodson, consultant obstetrician at Newcastle Hospitals and head of the UK Teratology Information Service (a specialist service that provides information on medicine use in pregnancy) said: “With the new variant of COVID-19 and increasing rates of infection in the community, it is vital that pregnant women protect themselves and their babies from COVID-19.
“The best way to do this is by vaccination. We have increasing data both from the UK and worldwide, that vaccination works and is safe in pregnancy. I would encourage pregnant women to get themselves vaccinated. We are happy to talk to anyone who is unsure about vaccination in the clinic.”
Ewa Heydecke from Newcastle is 39 weeks pregnant with her second child and received her booster vaccine at the clinic earlier this week. On how she found the experience she said: “When I found out that the drop-in clinic was open at the RVI I immediately thought this is the best place to get my booster.
“I can’t think of a better and more reassuring environment to get vaccinated during pregnancy. You are surrounded by midwives, equipment and the maternity assessment unit is around the corner. So if like me you don’t like needles and are quite anxious about having anything done to you medically then I can assure anyone this is the best place to get vaccinated.”
Like others Ewa was anxious about receiving her vaccines while pregnant and describes being pregnant during the pandemic as unique experience “There are no books on how to go through pregnancy during a pandemic although I’m sure they’re already being written for future generations.
“Pregnancy is an anxious time regardless, but support is available and there are experts who can answer questions so we don’t feel it’s something we have to figure out on our own.
“Having the vaccine is an extremely personal decision and everyone will have their own story and reasons why they may be hesitant, I would just encourage anyone to take a moment and try to think about the consequences of not having it done. For me I take the advice of the midwives and doctors for other aspects of pregnancy so I apply the same logic to having my vaccines – this includes covid, flu and whooping cough.
“I want to protect myself, my baby and my family and I am grateful the drop-in clinic is available to us to make this so easy.”
The drop-in clinic is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm within the antenatal clinic on Leazes wing, level four at the RVI. As well as being able to receive their vaccine, staff will also be on hand to answer any questions around vaccination during pregnancy.