Covid-19 vaccination

We spoke to pregnant women about their feelings about having the Covid-19 vaccination. When we talked about vaccinations, and what factors influenced the decisions they made the women often felt quite differently about Covid-19 vaccination, than they did about vaccinations more generally. They talked about their reasons for being hesitant about the vaccine and how they understood messages from the government and media.

The following information was collected from women and is comprised of their personal viewpoints about vaccination.

Feeling hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine

Even pregnant women who described themselves as being in favour of vaccinations, were more hesitant or against having the Covid-19 vaccination.

So, vaccination-wise, I am somebody ... I haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, but any other vaccinations prior to that that have been offered or, you know, the routine ones that you have when you’re younger ... So yeah, I think I’ve always been quite open to vaccinations until the COVID vaccination.
Ida, 35-44

Pregnant women were worried about how new the Covid-19 vaccination was, with fears around the lack of long-term evidence on how safe it was for pregnant women and their unborn babies. The newness of the vaccination led to distrust for some, and this  was one reason that some pregnant women refused the Covid-19 vaccination.*1  

Evidence box
*1 Latest evidence shows the Covid-19 vaccination is safe, and that the chance of still birth and maternal death is reduced with vaccination.


Reactions to messages from the government and media about the Covid-19 vaccine

Changes to the messaging from the Government about the Covid-19 vaccination (including changing and uncertain media messages) caused confusion and distrust amongst pregnant women.*2

Evidence box
*2 Messages from the Government are now clear that vaccination for Covid-19 is important and safe to have during pregnancy

We don’t know what the long-term effects are and even thought healthcare professionals are saying, you know there’s, there’s no risks further on down the line, we actually don’t know that, because those, those tests are gonna be in the future and, you know, when … when my kids grows up and are 20, ten, 20, 30 years old, my age. So, we don’t actually know what the long-term benefits are or, you know, what’s gonna happen yet, or any repercussions.
Darshana, 25-34
But I, I have to admit, I’m, I’m not a hundred percent sure about it, that’s the, the only ever, just because it’s so new, that’s the only, it’s the only thing. It, it’s just not had anywhere near as much of a trial as, you know, the long-standing ones ...if you like. So, so, yeah, I do have my reservations about that one, but, but overall, no, very happy to have people vaccinated, vaccinated and things.
Josephine, 35-44
But with the COVID because, so I was, gosh how, I think I was five months pregnant when, when they started rolling out Pfizer, I think it was, and they initially didn’t confirm whether it was safe and then when they did, it because it was so new I, I wasn’t comfortable, sort of, having it.
Josephine, 35-44
it does make you think, “Oh, well, what were the ...” 'Cause they didn’t really say why the reasons that we couldn’t get it, and then why the reasons it suddenly changed.
Hollie, 25-34
Obviously there’s been a lot of scaremongering in the press, and you kind of think, “What, what is actually in that vaccine? What has it, what has it done to my body?”
Olivia, 25-34

Safety and effectiveness of vaccinations

We spoke to pregnant women about their feelings around the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The following information was collected from women and is comprised...