A bespoke vaccine clinic for pregnant women in Ayrshire is to be held this weekend - amid a warning that unvaccinated mums-to-be can develop more severe symptoms of Covid-19.

Health chiefs say they have seen some unvaccinated pregnant women in their hospitals being admitted "requiring specialist care" due to the severity of the disease.

The drop-in clinic will be held at the Ayrshire Maternity Unit (AMU) at University Hospital Crosshouse on Saturday, January 15 from 9am to 5pm.

Women at any stage of their pregnancy or who have recently delivered their baby can attend, regardless of whether it's for their first, second, or third dose.

If it's for a second dose, at least eight weeks must have passed since you, or the person being vaccinated, received their first dose.

If attending for a booster vaccine, at least 12 weeks must have passed since the second dose was administered.

Attica Wheeler, NHS Ayrshire and Arran's associate director of nursing, women and children’s services, said: “We are keen to help support women to make an informed choice about vaccination against the coronavirus.

"There can be more severe symptoms if the virus is contracted during pregnancy and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is recommending vaccination to offer protection against the negative impacts of Covid-19.

“The AMU is a familiar environment for women who are pregnant or who have recently delivered their babies, with service users attending for a number of routine maternity appointments.

"By providing vaccinations at the AMU these women can also get information and advice from a trusted source as they make the decision on whether or not to be vaccinated.

“Vaccination is a personal choice, it is not mandatory. If you are undecided I’d urge you to research by reading up on the information from reliable sources like NHS Inform and RCOG where you can access details on the vaccine, pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility.

“In Ayrshire we have unfortunately seen some unvaccinated pregnant women with severe Covid-19 symptoms, requiring specialist care.

"The best protection against coronavirus is vaccination and it is safe to have at any stage in pregnancy and post-partum.”

Pregnant women do not have to get vaccinated at the AMU; they are still able to book in at any of the other vaccine clinics in the area.

These can be found at https://www.nhsinform.scot/vaccinebooking.