During the early phases of the COVID lockdown, Scotland put a hold on IVF treatment for all women.
As a result of “ongoing uncertainty” around the COVID-19 variant Omicron, fertility treatment for women who have not fully vaccinated has been put on hold.
Unvaccinated women are not considered entirely protected until they receive a booster jab; the National Health Service will cover the cost of in vitro fertilization for those waiting for their third dose.
After nearly five years of trying for a baby, Jemma McDonald, 25, was ready to begin IVF treatment, but she learned that she was disqualified before Christmas since not fully vaccinated.
Jemma told BBC Scotland: “I’m not anti-vaccine, I’m just in limbo, I was unsure of why or even when to get them. I hadn’t had a chance to speak to any doctors or nurses regarding this with fertility treatment.”
During her pregnancy, Jemma says she had a lot of questions regarding vaccinations, “at first they were saying if you’re planning on being pregnant when the vaccines first came out it was advised not to get them. It all seems so quickly changed around.”
Jackie Baillie, a spokesperson for the Scottish Labour Party, slammed the Scottish government’s decision. Baillie said that “their chance to start a family, and to have that taken away from them just overnight seems utterly unfair and inhumane,” on behave of many of the women Jackie spoke with.
In Jackie’s words, “No attempt had been made” to grasp the specific circumstances of each woman, as she told the BBC.
When Jackie talked to some women, they have likely overlooked the booster shot because they already had Covid at the time.
Jemma isn’t the only one who’s unsure about herself. Others were perplexed by the immunization recommendations for expectant mothers.
A Scottish government spokesperson calmed the crowd in response to the issue, “we continue to review the evidence and will look to review this decision early this year.”