SCOTLAND’S chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith has said it is safe for breastfeeding women to take coronavirus vaccines.

There has been some confusion over the guidance in recent days.

Last week most households in Scotland received a leaflet from the government, saying the vaccines are not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

It goes on to say “if you are breastfeeding you should wait until you have finished breastfeeding to have the vaccine.”

However, at the end of last month the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revised its guidance, saying that women who were breastfeeding could be given both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

But the guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation has warned that there is no data on this.

This is mostly because women and breastfeeding women are typically excluded from clinical trials.

The confusion has particularly impacted frontline workers who are one of the priority groups for

the vaccination. One social worker who works with children and pregnant women - and who asked not to be named - told The National: “From my understanding the risk would be very minimal, and probably less than the risk of Covid to me and my child.

“And the benefit to all the families I work with would of course be much greater if I get vaccinated.

“I understand it is a woman’s choice but without clear guidance to say at least the level of potential risk, I don’t feel it’s safe or appropriate for women to be assessing this themselves with no clinical guidance.

“I am being told, through NHS guidance via my employer, that I should speak with a health professional before I receive the vaccination, but there is no guidance as to who this should be?

“I can ask my GP but I doubt they will be able to provide any more detailed specific guidance in relation to the vaccine.”

One GP even told us she felt as if she had to choose between breastfeeding and working.

When The National put this to Smith, he told us that “looking at a kind of risk based approach” the evidence supported the use of the vaccine for people who are pregnant and who breastfeed.