Pregnant women in Northamptonshire are being urged to get their free flu vaccination before the virus starts circulating.
Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages, such as premature births or low birth weights. In some cases, it can lead to stillbirth or even death in the first week of life. Getting your free flu vaccination helps to keep you and your baby safe.
Dr Darin Sieger, a local GP and chair of Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), 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 in 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.”
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.