Pregnant women urged to book flu jab now

Birmingham News

Birmingham News

Birmingham mums-to-be are being urged to book a free flu jab to protect themselves and their unborn babies this winter.

Pregnant women are at greater risk than other adults of developing serious complications from flu and that can be serious for new-born babies, who can catch the infection from their mothers.

Complications can include pneumonia, hospitalisation, miscarriage, premature birth or delivering a low-weight baby.

Now Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, is urging pregnant women across the city to book a free jab at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “Having the flu vaccination is a simple way that pregnant women can protect the health of their unborn baby from the serious complications that can result from getting flu while pregnant.

“Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch flu, but if you’re pregnant the vaccination is quick, safe and completely free.

“Some mums to be are reluctant to have the jab but research shows that it’s safe for mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy. The earlier you have the vaccine the better as it means you will be protected for the whole winter.”

If you’re pregnant the flu jab is quick, safe and completely free – just ask your midwife or GP and make an appointment. You can have the jab at any stage of pregnancy, and it can also protect your baby for the first few months after birth.

It normally takes 10-14 days to develop protection after the vaccine, and protection against flu lasts all winter. Pregnant women are urged to get a jab as soon as possible to minimise the risk to themselves and their babies.

The flu vaccine only lasts for a year, so if you had a vaccination last year or during a previous pregnancy, you will need another one to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you the flu.

For more information, speak to your GP, midwife or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.