Pregnant woman with Covid 'fighting for life in Newcastle hospital'

·3-min read

A pregnant mother is reportedly fighting for her life in hospital with Covid-19, after she could not get a vaccine appointment.

The ABC reported the woman is 24-weeks pregnant and is in the intensive care unit at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

According to the publication, the woman had attempted to get a Pfizer vaccine but struggled to find an appointment.

“This is a serious problem for her and her baby,” Hunter Medical Research Institute co-director Roger Smith said according to The Australian.

A pregnant woman is reportedly fighting for her life in John Hunter Hospital after contracting Covid. Source: Google Maps
A pregnant woman is reportedly fighting for her life in John Hunter Hospital after contracting Covid. Source: Google Maps

Professor Smith said the most "distressing part of the woman's case was the fact she could not access Pfizer.

“I am concerned that pregnant women are not given priority for Pfizer, and instead young people are given priority even though their risk of serious illness is not as high,” he said.

In Australia, under the federal government's rollout, anyone who is pregnant is eligible to get a Pfizer vaccine.

"If a pregnant person contracts COVID-19, they are at a higher risk of severe illness, and their unborn baby is also at risk of being born prematurely or needing hospital treatment," Australia's Department of Health says.

"This is why COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all pregnant people."

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend pregnant women receive a Pfizer vaccine.

There are still concerns pregnant women are struggling to get access to a Covid jab. Source: AAP
There are still concerns pregnant women are struggling to get access to a Covid jab. Source: AAP

Australia's vaccine rollout has been plagued by issues of accessibility, especially Pfizer, following the updated advice with AstraZeneca.

A joint statement from RANZOG and the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) says there have been no significant safety concerns due to mRNA Covid vaccines.

It is preferable pregnant women, along with those who are breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant, receive the Pfizer vaccine.

However the federal government said anyone aged over 18 could still get the AstraZeneca vaccine "if the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for you".

Women who are trying to become pregnant are also advised not to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

Speaking to the ABC, Professor Craig Pennell from the University of Newcastle, said many pregnant women are actively seeking out a Covid vaccine, but are having trouble booking in.

"In Newcastle, for example, if you apply now you may be given a date in October," he said.

"I think that pregnant women should be given a higher priority for vaccination than they currently are."

Applying a COVID-19 vaccine to a pregnant woman
It is preferred pregnant women get vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer. Source: Getty Images

Australia has secured half a million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines in a swap deal with Singapore to bolster the behind-schedule rollout.

Under the agreement 500,000 doses are expected to arrive for distribution next week, with Australia to send the same amount to Singapore in December.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the vaccines would be additional to 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer and one million Moderna shots expected to arrive this month.

With AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting