Pregnant women who catch Covid are over 50 per cent more likely to suffer complications such as premature birth, according to a major new study. Scientists have called on expectant mothers to get vaccinated after the findings indicated the risks from the virus are worse than originally assumed. Based on the medical records of 2,100 pregnant women across 18 countries, the study also found that newborns of infected women were nearly three times more at risk of severe medical complications that could require admission to a neonatal intensive care unit. Women who caught the virus but didn’t experience symptoms appeared to be at no added risk. Around eight per cent of births in the UK are preterm, affecting approximately 60,000 babies a year, higher than many countries in Europe. There is no evidence that being vaccinated against Covid poses a risk to pregnancy, and many scientists have said there is no plausible way that a jab could cause harm. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advises women who are pregnant to get either the Pfizer or Moderna jabs. However, officials believe that unfounded fears among pregnant women or those planning to become so are bolstering vaccine hesitancy.