Maternity experts invite mums-to-be to chat through Covid-19 vaccine worries at upcoming webinar event

Pregnant women in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will have the chance to put their questions about the Covid-19 vaccine to a panel of the region’s top maternity experts at an upcoming online event.

Taking place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 December, the virtual Opening Doors discussion forum is an opportunity for mums-to-be, as well as their partners, other family members and friends, to seek reassurance about having the coronavirus vaccine while pregnant.

The panel, which includes Dr Katharine Backhouse, Consultant Obstetrician at Salisbury District Hospital, Dr Katherine Oldridge, GP Maternity Lead, Sandy Richards, Local Maternity and Neonatal System Midwife, and Dr Colin Payton, Consultant Occupational Physician, will provide expert help and guidance on the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as answer questions from those in attendance.

Although the coronavirus vaccine has been proved to be both safe and effective for pregnant women and those trying to conceive, many people still have some reservations.

The Opening Doors event, which will be held via videoconferencing platform Zoom, will be a safe and friendly environment in which people can talk openly about their concerns and receive unbiased and non-judgmental advice and support.

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “This event is a fantastic opportunity for us to provide women and their families, some of whom may have so far not taken up the Covid-19 vaccine, with information that will hopefully allay their concerns and fears about getting vaccinated.

“Locally, we have safely given out more than 1.6 million vaccines, but we know a high number of our expectant mothers, as well as women who have recently given birth, have remained unvaccinated.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, and any unlikely side effect from the vaccination process will in no way be as serious as actually catching coronavirus, which we know has led to many pregnant women in our region needing intense hospital care.” 

Last week, the country’s top doctors and maternity experts urged pregnant women to have the Covid-19 vaccine after new data from the UK Health Security Agency showed that vaccinated women were at no greater risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy than those who had held off from getting protected.

The data also revealed that, out of all pregnant women currently in hospital with Covid-19, more than 98 per cent had not been vaccinated.

Locally, coronavirus vaccines continue to be available from a range of locations, including the large vaccination sites at Bath Racecourse, Salisbury City Hall and the Steam Museum in Swindon.

These three larger sites often have the best appointment availability, although new slots are added regularly at all venues, including community pharmacies.

Vaccine appointments should be booked in advance using the National Booking Service, which can be accessed online at or over the phone by calling 119.

Places for the Opening Doors online event can be booked by sending an email to

Further information about the local vaccination programme can be found online at