Free flu vaccination for pregnant women
Date: 30 October 2018
A mum-to-be is urging other pregnant women to make sure that they have a free flu vaccination.
Emma McEwan (pictured) who is seven months pregnant, had the flu jab at her GP practice last week. Emma works for the NHS in Oxford.
Emma said: “I’m pleased to have had the vaccine to help protect me and my baby. The jab was painless and over in seconds. It doesn’t matter at what stage of the pregnancy you are at, even if you discover you are pregnant later on in the flu season – have the vaccination. It is safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women and actually passes some protection on to your baby in the first few months of life.”
Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Clinical Locality Director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s important for pregnant women to have the vaccine as pregnancy weakens the body’s immune system and can cause serious complications for the mother and baby. I urge all pregnant women to visit their GP practice to have the vaccination when contacted by their surgery.”
Pregnant women in Oxfordshire can get the free flu vaccine at their GP practice when invited, and at some community pharmacies and maternity services’ scan clinics.
There is more information on the flu vaccination and pregnant women here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/flu-jab-vaccine-pregnant/
Notes to editors:
Other ‘at risk’ patients can have a free NHS flu vaccination – these include:
- Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
- All other children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
- People in long-stay residential care homes
At risk conditions:
The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
Flu can cause serious complications for the mother and baby.
- Date:23 October 2018