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UK: Unvaccinated mothers urge pregnant women to get jabbed

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  • Pregnant women are being urged to get the vaccine by unvaccinated mothers
  • Powerful new video shows their experiences of severe COVID-19 during pregnancy
  • 98% of pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19 are unvaccinated
  • Vaccines continue to provide tens of thousands of pregnant women and their babies with vital protection from the virus

Unvaccinated women who suffered with COVID-19 during their pregnancies have told their harrowing stories of battling the virus, from being hospitalised to having emergency c-sections, as part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.

The video features three women who experienced serious complications after contracting COVID-19 before they’d been vaccinated, as well as the doctors and frontline staff who treated them, to warn of the dangers of the virus for pregnant women and their babies.

Medical expert Professor Asma Khalil from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is also interviewed as part of the powerful new film and provides further reassurance on the importance of the vaccine.

Data published last week by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows the vaccines are safe for mothers and their babies, with good birth outcomes for vaccinated women who had their babies up to August this year. There were no consistent differences between vaccinated women and all women in the figures for stillbirths, low baby birthweights and premature births.

Nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, 98% are unvaccinated, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021. Around 1 in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and 1 in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.

The women who feature in the new, short film have issued an urgent plea calling on expectant mothers to take up the vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and their babies.

Christina, a mental health therapist from Guildford who was hospitalised with COVID-19 in her third trimester and had to give birth via emergency c-section, said:

I went into hospital in my third trimester, and I thought I was going to deliver a baby but the next thing I know, I was being told I had COVID-19. Symptoms started to arise and I quickly deteriorated. I was rushed in for a CT scan because the doctors feared I was having a pulmonary embolism.

I had to give birth via emergency c-section because there was concern that I could have a stillbirth. It was terrifying.

I don’t know what the future holds for me and my baby; I’m still suffering with symptoms now along with the anxiety of not knowing how or when I’ll recover. I would urge pregnant women to get vaccinated because I don’t want anyone to experience what I went through.

Tanviha, who works in anaesthesiology and research in Manchester, spent two months in hospital with COVID-19 following an emergency c-section, said:

I caught COVID-19 during my second pregnancy in February earlier this year. At the time, the vaccine wasn’t available to me and I quickly took a turn for the worse. I was rushed into hospital and went straight into intensive care where my condition deteriorated and my son was delivered by emergency c-section.

I was put to sleep and intubated, and my family were told it was unlikely I’d survive and to prepare for the worst. The day after I was intubated, the nurse told them they were going to switch the machine off, but instead I was transferred to an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which is a last resort for patients with severe heart and lung failure, and it saved my life.

The first time I saw my son he was two months old. It’s the scariest experience of mine and my family’s life but I’m just grateful that me and my son are alive. If you’re unsure about getting vaccinated please come forward and get your jab, not everyone’s as lucky as I am.

Joanne, a makeup advisor from Lincolnshire suffered complications with her pregnancy after catching COVID-19, she said:

I had been unsure what was the right thing to do about getting vaccinated while pregnant. I was planning on having the jab after my daughter was born but I caught COVID-19 when I was 35 weeks pregnant and became seriously ill, I couldn’t get out of bed for a week.

I had nearly recovered but something just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t feel my baby kicking so I made an urgent appointment to see my midwife. The team at the hospital quickly spotted the baby’s growth had dropped and her fluid was low.

Her heartbeat was going down and down so the consultant rushed me off for an emergency caesarean when Mollie-Ann was born. I’m so grateful to the maternity team for keeping me and my baby safe and I just wish I’d been vaccinated sooner.

The vaccines are safe for pregnant women and have no impact on fertility, which has been made extremely clear by the government, its senior clinicians and a range of independent experts from stakeholder groups such as RCOG, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the British Fertility Society.

Since April 2021, around 84,000 pregnant women have received one dose and over 80,000 have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Out of all women between the ages of 16 and 49 on ECMO – a form of life support for the sickest of patients – in intensive care, pregnant women make up almost a third (32%) – up from just 6% at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician, said:

The stories shared as part of this film are heartbreaking and provide invaluable, first-hand insight into why accepting the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine is so important for mothers and their babies.

Getting the vaccine is one of the most vital ways in which you can protect yourself and your baby from COVID-19, which can be really dangerous for pregnant women – of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, 98% are unvaccinated.

Watch the film, speak to your clinician or midwife if you have any questions or concerns, and book in your vaccine without delay.

Professor Asma Khalil, spokesperson for Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

We are very concerned about the number of pregnant women who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19.

We know that the COVID-19 can cause severe illness in pregnant women with a disproportionate number of unvaccinated pregnant women in intensive care. If a woman contracts COVID-19, evidence shows they are more likely to have a preterm birth or stillbirth.

Our message is clear, COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy is safe, it is not linked to an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, and it’s the best way of protecting you and your baby from the virus. We are recommending all pregnant women have their COVID-19 vaccines, including their third dose booster vaccine when they are offered it.’’

The proportion of women who gave birth and were vaccinated during pregnancy has been steadily increasing since 16 April 2021, when the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised all pregnant women should be offered two vaccine doses at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

Pregnant women aged 40 and over who are health or social care workers, or are in an at-risk group, are now also eligible for booster vaccines three months after their second dose and will soon be able to book an appointment. Younger age groups will be invited by the NHS in order of age in due course.

The government is working closely with RCOG, RCM and other key stakeholders on engaging with women who are either pregnant or thinking about pregnancy and providing them with the latest advice and information at every possible opportunity. It’s also working with faith and community leaders to increase vaccine uptake, holding regular meetings to discuss the best ways to provide information to their communities.

The Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, has also written to fellow midwives and GP practices across the country stressing the need to encourage pregnant women to get the jab.

Liz, head of maternity at Epsom and St Hellier Hospital Trust who features in the film, said:

We are treating more and more unvaccinated pregnant women with COVID-19. The vaccine is safe for pregnant women and is the best way to keep you and your baby, safe and out of hospital. Getting vaccinated works: across England, no pregnant woman that has had two vaccinations has been admitted to hospital due to COVID-19.

You can receive vaccination at any time in pregnancy, but the risks that unvaccinated pregnant women face of becoming severely unwell if they catch COVID-19 show exactly why we advise you to do so as soon as possible. This film is another stark reminder of the devastating impact COVID-19 can have on women and their babies.

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said:

Nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated, which shows just how important it is that expectant mothers get the vaccine to keep themselves and their babies safe.

Over 81,000 pregnant women have so far received their first dose, with 65,000 being double-jabbed, which is fantastic, but there’s still more to be done.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for pregnant women and I urge everyone to get their vaccines as soon as they can to secure this significant protection”.

Gill Walton, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

Having COVID-19 can double the chance of stillbirth and triples the chance of a preterm birth, which can have long-term health impact for the baby.

We know that the vaccine is a safe and effective way of preventing this, with hundreds of thousands of pregnant women worldwide having been vaccinated with no adverse effects.
   

Background:

You can watch the film here:

The UKHSA safety data can be found here

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Family Of Oxford High School Shooting Victim Justin Shilling: ‘Our Hearts Are Broken’

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The family of Oxford High School shooting victim Justin Shilling released a statement on Friday regarding the death of their son who was one of four students killed along with seven injured during a tragic shooting on Tuesday in Michigan.

The statement was shared with multiple outlets in Michigan and nationwide on Friday to honor Shilling, revealing “our hearts are broken” as the family mourns alongside the Oxford community.

“As the community we have loved and lived in reels from this tragedy we as a family have to mourn the loss of our son. Justin Charles who was so dear to our hearts was at the same time beloved of so many people in his school and his community. He was a Grandson, a brother, a cousin, a classmate, and without hesitation, a friend. The loss of Justin leaves such a gaping hole in our family that we cannot conceive of life without him. Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure,” the statement read.

The family’s statement also emphasized the “beautiful” lives of Shilling and the other three victims who were killed.

“As a family we would like to appeal to the public to keep the importance of what has been lost here in the forefront of our minds and the news. These are beautiful children’s lives, full of potential and with the expectation of so much more to come,” the family shared.

The words described Shilling as a dedicated student, worker, and athlete whose “potential was boundless in life.”

“Justin was a scholar, part of Oxford School Districts Baccalaureate program and a university scholarship awardee. He was a tireless worker with three jobs that he juggled along with his studies. He was lettered athlete and had bowled on the Oxford High School bowling team. His potential was boundless in life and yet in death he continues to give of himself as an organ doner. We feel the world can’t have too much of Justin,” the statement added.

The family also extended condolences to all families impacted by the Oxford High School tragedy, adding their thanks for the support of their community.

“In closing we would just like to send our most sincere condolences to all the families involved in this tragedy and can say assuredly that we DO know your pain. And to the community thank you all for the out pouring of love and prayers. We can never express the gratitude we have in our hearts.”

The Daily Wire previously reported that three students were reported dead on Tuesday. A fourth victim died on Wednesday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

Shilling, the fourth victim, 17, passed away at approximately 10:00 a.m. local time at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac just one day after the shooting tragedy that took the lives of three students.

The three students who died on the day of the incident included Tate Myre, a 16-year-old football player, who died in a sheriff’s deputy’s car while traveling to the hospital; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Madisyn Baldwin, 17.

Six additional people remain wounded, including one unnamed 47-year-old teacher grazed by a bullet.

Other students noted in the press conference and reported by a local FOX 2 affiliate included:

  • A 14-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the head and jaw is in serious condition.
  • A 17-year-old girl was listed as stable after being shot in the neck.
  • A 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg and is stable.
  • A 14-year-old girl with chest and neck wounds is currently on a ventilator after surgery, according to the sheriff.
  • A 17-year-old girl was shot in the chest and is in critical condition.

The suspect is currently being held at a local juvenile detention facility and has declined to speak to law enforcement regarding motives. The 15-year-old student faces 24 charges, including four counts of first-degree murder and terrorism. His parents also face four charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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I Spent N3b To Conduct 2007 Election But Jega Spent N84b In 2011 –Maurice Iwu

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Former National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Maurice Iwu has shocked Nigerians with an allegation of possible corruption and wastefulness in conducting the 2011 general elections.

Iwu who spoke in an interview on Friday said the three billion naira spent in 2007 to conduct general elections would have been enough but expressed consternation that the Attahiru Jega-led INEC spent N84 billion to conduct the 2011 general elections, just four years after end of his tenure.

He alleged that there was possible collusion with some vested interest which led to the huge sum being spent in 2011, insisting that, with the structure he left in place, the N84 was far too much to have been spent in conducting the 2011 general elections.

Iwu who pointed out that the conduct of 2007 election was 10 per cent of the current INEC budget said Nigerians were shouting in 2007 when the Commission “asked for N3 billion for the same voter register that they now spent N84 billion on.

“It was in all the newspapers that Iwu asked for more money. It is Iwu, not INEC,” he said.

He added that, “Now, nobody talks about Jega or any other person. They talk about INEC.

“The issue there is that we were able to do what we did because our whole focus was on delivering that transition from civilian to civilian regime.

“It was surprising to the whole country that I was not involved in the issue of the ballot paper that was used for the election, which was supposed to be done by our MINT – Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). It was the Nigerian MINT that we contracted it to, based on the same philosophy that we didn’t want to have any foreigner involved in anything.”

Continuing he said, “It is just four years apart – 2007 to 2011 – but the cost was monumental because, first of all, as soon as the estimates were made, the foreigners said ‘pay up quickly’.”

Iwu, who was critical of Jega-led INEC in the issue of the register said the voter register his team left behind in 2007 was a gold standard.

He said, “The register can be compared to any register anywhere in the whole world. What happened was that sometimes people want to play to the gallery.

“We know what happened in Anambra State when they conducted the last election. We saw the mess in the INEC register, but it is not the fault of the INEC chairman.”

Continuing the attack on Jega, he said, “I didn’t know that Nigeria was stupendously rich and wasteful (in 2011). There was no need to have spent N84 billion which they claimed they spent on voter register (in 2011).”

He averred that, “If a register is bad, if a database is bad, what you do is to purge it and then refill it; you don’t remove the infrastructure and re-do it. Where is the young man, the Kenyan, who led them into it? Ask government and INEC where he is now.

“The problem with this country and why I have refused to talk is that we are in a situation where people don’t follow logic. It is he who shouts loudest that wins the argument. That is why I don’t have the time to get into that. I am busy with my own professional work.”

While saying he was not prepared to join issues with his successor, he explained further that, “You can talk to INEC staff. Just go to INEC now and conduct a referendum. They are the professionals. Ask them, Prof. Iwu’s time in INEC and now, which is better? But I don’t want to go there. I just want to see how Nigeria can be made better; how we can stop the senseless waste of lives.”
He insisted that, “The 2007 poll still remains a landmark. They cannot remove it. It was the first transition from civilian to civilian regime; so it was not supposed to be easy. And it was not easy. But by God’s grace, we did it.

“Let Nigerians compare that election and every other one that we have had. They will understand that we were firm, resolute, knew exactly what we wanted to do, and achieved what we wanted to do, namely to transit Nigeria from one civilian regime to another.”

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