Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Friday, 29 January 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health
Covid-19 Vaccination Programme: Update
Dr. Lucy Jessop:
Regarding pregnant women being of the lowest priority for the vaccine, that was written at a time when we were not quite so clear about some of the issues with the vaccine. Pregnant healthcare workers are now being vaccinated. We know that they are at great risk of Covid-19 and are exposed as front-line healthcare workers, so they are being offered the vaccine. There are some clear guidelines about that and information has been provided by obstetricians and gynaecologists, and answers to frequently asked questions from pregnant women who are concerned about the vaccine are freely available so that they have that information. Women who are between 14 and 33 weeks of pregnancy are able to get the vaccine if they are front-line healthcare workers. That has carried on for the last several weeks of the programme.
There was a question about a possible misunderstanding about what the vaccine does. It is clear in the leaflets that one receives before and after receiving the vaccine that it protects one from Covid-19 and its severe effects but it does not stop transmission as far as we know. The leaflets and the information that people are getting are clear that one must still obey all the guidelines that every other citizen is following. We and our colleagues involved in communication will continue to reiterate that information to make sure that people are clear that they must follow guidelines even though they are vaccinated.