29 November 2021

A world-leading clinical COVID-19 vaccination trial for pregnant women has started at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) with the first two volunteers recruited.

The Preg-CoV study being carried out at SaTH will look at the best COVID-19 vaccine dose interval for pregnant women with the results helping researchers understand how the vaccine works to protect pregnant mothers and their babies.

The research team is now looking for other mums-to-be to sign up for the study at The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, one of only 14 National Institute for Health Research sites across the country.

Dr Will Parry Smith, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Dr Adam Gornall, Consultant Obstetrician and Specialist in Maternal and Fetal Medicine, are leading the study at SaTH along with Helen Millward, Research Midwife, and the wider research team.

“COVID-19 infection in pregnancy carries a higher risk of severe illness than for the non-pregnant population, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy,” said Dr Parry Smith.

“Thousands of pregnant women have been safely vaccinated in the UK and worldwide and all the medical expert groups recommend vaccination as one of the best defences against severe infection.

“It is great to get the study underway and have our first volunteers vaccinated. The Preg-CoV study is a nationally important trial with real benefit for our patients locally.”

Participants will need to be between 18 and 45-years-old, have no health conditions and be between 13 and 34 weeks pregnant on the day of vaccination. They will be closely monitored by health professionals throughout their pregnancy and following the birth.

The Preg-CoV study, which is backed by £7.5 million of government funding and led by St George’s, University of London, will provide vital clinical trial data on the immunity response to vaccination at different dose intervals – either four to six weeks or eight to 12 weeks.

Any pregnant women interested are encouraged to visit the website to see if they are eligible and click on the Telford location: vaccine.ac.uk/research/preg-cov-trial

Picture caption: Taking part in the clinical COVID-19 vaccination trial, pictured left to right, Helen Millward, Research Midwife, Jess Herrington, Research Midwife, and Julie Summers-Wall, Clinical Trials Data Co-ordinator