10 November 2016
South West pregnant women urged to get free flu jab
The NHS is urging pregnant women across the South
West to protect themselves and their unborn child by having the flu
vaccination this winter.
Pregnant women have a seven times greater risk of dying from
flu-related illness than non-pregnant women.
However, only 30 per cent of eligible women in the South West
have so far received the vaccination this season.
NHS England South West Consultant in Public Health, Dr Julie
"All pregnant mums should make every effort to have the flu
vaccination during their pregnancy. It's important to recognise
that significant risks exist to both mother and unborn child if
they contract the flu virus.
"Complications are reduced by having a simple vaccination, and I
would urge all pregnant women to have the free vaccination as soon
as possible via their GP, pharmacy or local maternity service. The
vaccine will offer protection to both mother and baby."
Flu can make otherwise healthy people feel very poorly for up to
a fortnight. There is also strong evidence that pregnant women have
an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu,
potentially harmful to mother and the unborn baby.
These risks include bronchitis, pneumonia and an increased risk
of miscarriage, or the baby being born prematurely, or with a low
The flu vaccination is not harmful and offers the best level of
protection - studies show that the vaccine is safe during any stage
of pregnancy, from the first few weeks right up to the expected due
date. If the flu vaccination is taken during pregnancy it will
provide passive immunity against flu to the baby in the first few
months of life.
BACK TO NEWS