Unvaccinated women allowed to resume NHS fertility treatment

IVF treatments were paused for unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated patients in January.

Women not vaccinated against Covid-19 allowed to resume NHS IVF treatments iStock

Women who are not fully vaccinated against Covid will be allowed to resume fertility treatment on the NHS. 

IVF treatments were paused for unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated patients in January following the emergence of Omicron. 

However an updated review found the risk to those planning pregnancy had reduced over the last four to six weeks. 

Chief Medical Officer Professor Gregor Smith has written to NHS Chief Executives and health boards advising them of the change.

Patients will continue to be given advice regarding the risk of being unvaccinated, with women asked to sign an informed consent form acknowledging the risks. 

Professor Sir Gregor Smith said: “When I recommended a pause in fertility treatment in January for women who are not fully vaccinated, I said that would be reviewed alongside emerging evidence of risk and levels of Covid in the community.

“Data from Public Health Scotland demonstrates that both Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations are stabilising, and a reduced proportion of cases are resulting in hospitalisations, following the emergence of Omicron as the dominant variant.

“While data specifically on pregnant women is very limited, the available data on unvaccinated individuals suggests that the risk of severe disease requiring hospital or critical care admission has reduced over the last four to six weeks.

“I am recommending that this treatment can recommence so long as women affected are fully informed both of the risks of non-vaccination and also of the extensive evidence concerning the safety of vaccines in pregnant women, those planning pregnancy or undergoing fertility treatment.

“I strongly support the recommendation that people get the vaccine when offered. The Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective and there is no evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility in women or men.”