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Pregnant mothers urged to take the free flu jab to protect their baby

21 September 2017


Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group & Luton Clinical Commissioning Group are encouraging all pregnant women to get their free flu vaccination before the flu virus starts circulating.

Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages, such as premature births or low birth weights. Getting the free flu vaccination helps to keep mothers and their baby safe.  

Dr. Sanhita Chakrabarti, Bedfordshire lead clinician working with women and children, said: “I would urge anyone who is pregnant to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible. During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure that the pregnancy is successful. As a result, pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus.

“The flu vaccination is the best protection against flu. It’s safe during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks through to the woman’s due date and doesn’t carry any risks for mother or baby. Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.”

Dr Chakrabarti continued, “Even if you’ve had the flu vaccination before, it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too. If you are towards the end of your pregnancy, you can also have the whooping cough vaccination at the same time.

“Ask your midwife, GP or pharmacist about your free flu vaccination now. It’s free because you need it”.

A video has been produced by the NHS to understand why it’s so important for pregnant women to have their free flu jab: Watch the video here. 

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell 

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