Many pregnant women don’t realise how ill you can be with flu and how dangerous it can be during pregnancy.
Getting vaccinated against flu is the best way to protect yourself and your baby from the virus, and make sure you stay flu safe all winter. If you’re pregnant, the flu jab is quick, safe and completely free – ask your midwife or GP and make an appointment. You can have the jab at any stage of pregnancy, and it can protect your baby for the first few months after birth.
Last year, less than a third of pregnant women in Wirral were vaccinated against flu, despite the increased risks they face by catching the virus.
Fiona Johnstone, Director of Public Health for Wirral, said: “Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch flu. In fact, studies have shown that pregnant women with some strains of flu are four times more likely to develop serious illness and four to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital than the rest of the population.”
It takes only two weeks to develop protection after the vaccine, and protection against flu lasts all winter. Pregnant women are urged to have the jab as soon as possible to reduce the risk to themselves and their babies.
The protection from the flu vaccine lasts for a year, so if you had a jab last year or during a previous pregnancy, you will need another one to stay flu safe. The vaccine cannot give you the flu.
Flu can result in a stay in hospital, and in severe cases, flu can kill. Don’t take the risk – speak to your midwife or GP practice today to make sure you have a happy and healthy pregnancy by getting the jab and getting flu safe.
For more information, speak to your GP, midwife or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.
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© Wirral Primary Care Trust 2013