NHS bosses are urging pregnant women to get coronavirus jabs after a number of unvaccinated mums-to-be ended up in critical care with Covid-19 at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands several expectant mothers have become seriously ill with the infection with a small number transferred to the Royal Blackburn’s Intensive Treatment Unit in the past few weeks.

When approached, the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust declined to give details or numbers of affected pregnant women on grounds of ‘patient confidentiality’ but issued a statement.

Chris Pearson, its chief nurse said: “It is really important pregnant women discuss having the vaccination with their GP, midwife, at their antenatal appointment or when attending for a scan, so that they can make an informed decision.

“We are aware there is a lot of misinformation circulating on social media relating to Covid-19 and the vaccine. It is advisable to use verified and reliable sources of information such as Public Health England, the NHS and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to ensure pregnant women receive official guidance.”    

Her concerns are reflected nationally and in the North West.

Rineke Schram, the lead obstetrician at the Lancashire and South Cumbria Maternity and Newborn Alliance, said: “Every day we are seeing very sick pregnant women with Covid-19 in hospital and the vast majority are unvaccinated. 

“If you have Covid 19 in pregnancy you are twice as likely to have a stillbirth, and it is twice as likely that your baby will be born prematurely, which can affect their long-term health. I want to reassure pregnant women that Covid-19 vaccines are the safest and best way to protect you and your baby from severe illness and premature birth. 

“Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women worldwide have been vaccinated, safely and effectively protecting themselves against Covid and dramatically reducing their risk of serious illness or harm to their baby. 

“It’s so important for pregnant women to get their jab, particularly with the virus being so prevalent and the Delta variant proving to be so much more transmissible.”

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England, has revealed figures which show that  no pregnant women with both doses of the vaccine had been admitted to hospital. 

Since May, just three women had been admitted after having their first vaccine. In contrast 98 per cent of pregnant women admitted to hospital with Covid-19 had not been jabbed.