In her first contribution on her return to parliament Ruth Maguire MSP for Cunninghame South relayed to the Scottish Government the devastation felt, by couples when fertility treatment was deferred for patients who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and welcomed NHS Ayrshire and Arran providing special vaccination clinics for pregnant women .

Speaking in response to the First Minister’s statement on Covid-19, Ruth Maguire MSP for Cunninghame South said:

“On Saturday, NHS Ayrshire and Arran held a drop-in vaccination clinic for pregnant women and women who had recently delivered their baby at Ayrshire maternity unit. That was a very welcome initiative.

It is crucial that women who are looking to conceive, including those who access specialist in vitro fertilisation treatment, are also provided with timely information and advice on vaccination and how that might impact their hopes of conceiving. An example of where that did not happen was raised with me recently. Those involved were left devastated.

What action is the Scottish Government taking to ensure that women who are looking to conceive and those who provide their healthcare are kept properly informed about the importance of vaccinations?”

The First Minister responded:

“Ruth Maguire has raised an important issue. It is important to stress that Covid continues to pose a serious risk to unvaccinated pregnant women and their babies. Data from Public Health Scotland shows that 98 per cent of pregnant women with Covid who required intensive care in Scotland were unvaccinated. The decision was therefore taken by ministers to temporarily defer fertility treatment for women who are not fully vaccinated.

I fully understand that undergoing fertility treatment is an emotional experience for those involved. Treatment centres provide counselling to women who want to discuss vaccination in more detail, and they are in touch with patients to provide further information on treatment and vaccination. Public Health Scotland has also produced information leaflets and online information to encourage vaccine uptake among pregnant women, and additional guidance on fertility and vaccination can be found on our Parent Club and NHS Inform websites.”