Vaccination worries answered at women-only clinic


A vaccination clinic for pregnant women and those hoping to get pregnant in the future will be held at The Royal Bolton Hospital.

The dedicated women-only session will take place at the hospital’s antenatal clinic in the maternity unit, on Saturday, September 11 from 9am and 5pm.

Anyone who is pregnant, just had a baby or hoping to conceive at some point in the future is encouraged to attend the drop-in session.

Midwives will be on hand to discuss any concerns about getting the vaccine and there will be an opportunity to get vaccinated on the day.

The offer to attend and raise any queries about the vaccine at this session is extended to all females who live, work or study in Bolton, aged 16 and over, especially if they have questions about the vaccine in relation to fertility and their menstrual cycle.

Mums concerned about their teenage daughters getting the vaccine are also welcome.

Current guidance is that pregnant women can get the vaccine, at any stage in their pregnancy.

Pregnant women aren’t at increased risk of catching Covid-19 but, if they do, they are more likely to be admitted to hospital. There is also an increased risk of giving birth prematurely if they contract Covid-19 in the third trimester of their pregnancy and the risk of stillbirth is double if seriously ill at the time of giving birth.

There is no scientific evidence that vaccination affects fertility, so anyone trying or hoping to conceive can safely get the vaccine. Similarly, new mums can also get vaccinated without the need to stop breastfeeding.

Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bolton, and clinical director of commissioning at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group,  said: “Sadly, we are still seeing unvaccinated, pregnant women being admitted to hospital because they are seriously ill with Covid and it breaks my heart as it is entirely avoidable. However, I totally understand that people still have concerns about the vaccine.

“This will be the second pregnancy-focused vaccination clinic we have arranged in conjunction with Bolton GP Federation and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. I would love to see women take up this opportunity to ask questions and then make an informed choice about getting vaccinated – whether they are pregnant women, those who are thinking about getting pregnant now or several years in the future or even 16 year olds and their mums who have questions about fertility and potential effects on their periods. 

“This is a women’s clinic; run by women, for women and no question is off-limits or considered trivial. Please, come along and have a chat with the team.”

Kath Arrowsmith, chief nurse at Bolton GP Federation said: “I urge all pregnant women, breast feeding mums, those trying for a baby and young women with concerns or questions regarding their future fertility to come to this special clinic. There will be nurses, midwives and doctors available to speak to on the day, they will be more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have surrounding the Covid-19 vaccination. Please come along, meet the team, have a chat and be supported in making an informed decision regarding the vaccine.”

Natasha Macdonald, director of midwifery and divisional nurse director for the family care division at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are continuing to see pregnant people admitted to our hospital, some of which are very unwell, who have not been vaccinated.

“As midwives, this is not something we want to see happening. I’d urge anyone who has questions, concerns, or who is pregnant and not yet vaccinated, to come along to this clinic and speak to one of our trained professionals. We will be happy to talk through your queries with you and help you to make an informed choice about the health of yourself and your unborn baby.”

An additional women-only clinic (but not pregnancy-focused) will take place on Tuesday, September 7 at the former Central Baptist Church, on the corner of Snowden Street and Thomas Holden Street, Bolton.

Run in partnership with Bolton GP Federation and Urban Outreach, the session from 10am to 2pm is open to all women aged 16 plus. The drop-in clinic will have a female-only staff and will offer both first and second doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.


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