A CLINIC has been set up in Bolton for women who are worried about receiving the coronavirus jab.

Women in Bolton who are pregnant, thinking about having a baby or have just had a child and are breastfeeding, are encouraged to attend a special clinic to discuss having the Covid vaccination.

A dedicated women-only clinic will take place on Monday August 2, between 2pm and 8pm at the Maternity Community Hub, based at Bolton Council of Mosques on Vicarage Street.

The clinic is open to all women in Bolton over the age of 18 wishing to get their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive are specifically urged to go along to discuss any concerns they may have.

New mum Gemma Wilkinson, 38, had her first vaccination at Essa Academy at the height of the Delta Variant, while heavily pregnant. She’s since given birth to a healthy little girl, Emily and had her second dose a few weeks ago while breastfeeding.

She said: "I decided to have it done at this stage of pregnancy as the Covid rate in Bolton was rapidly increasing. Having seen the impact Covid can have, I wanted to protect myself and my baby as much as possible. When I attended the appointment, I spoke to the doctor as I waited in the queue, who answered any questions and any concerns I had. After both of the vaccines I had a sore arm but no other side effects.

“While we have this opportunity to have the Covid vaccination I would encourage other pregnant ladies or those who are breastfeeding to speak to a healthcare professional if they have any concerns."

Current guidance states that pregnant women can get the vaccine, at any stage in their pregnancy. They are not more likely to catch Covid-19 but, if they do, they are more likely to be admitted to hospital, acccording to health chiefs.

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.

Senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bolton, Dr Helen Wall, said: “People who know me know that I am passionate about women’s health and the vaccination programme in equal measures. I fully support a woman’s choice about what to do with her body, especially when pregnant, but this has to be an informed choice.

“Sadly, there is still a lot of misinformation circulating that could affect their choice to have the vaccine or not, and it’s my job to ensure they have the facts so they can make the correct decision for themselves.

“The risk of a pregnant woman catching Covid is no greater than anyone else but the risk of them becoming seriously ill and passing increased risks onto their baby is heightened because they are pregnant.

"They are more protected if vaccinated – that is a fact. I want to protect these women as much as I can, so I would encourage anyone who is pregnant or considering getting pregnant now or in the future to discuss their concerns with us at this special women-only clinic.”

The dedicated clinic will be run by female staff, and healthcare professionals who can speak different languages will be on hand for anyone whose first language isn’t English.