Mums to Be Offered Flu Jabs Through Maternity Services in the Southwest
As NHS Flu Campaign gets underway health chiefs are advising pregnant women across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to get vaccinated.
Now, for the first time, midwives in most maternity services across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset will be offering the free flu vaccine when they see pregnant mums at ante-natal clinics, scans and other appointments.
Having the flu vaccination reduces the risk of catching flu and the side effects of the vaccine are mild compared to having the disease itself. Unborn babies also develop some immunity from the mother after she has had the vaccine, which will provide some protection during the first few months of life.
Flu can be more serious in pregnancy because a woman’s immune system is naturally weakened, meaning they are less able to fight off infections.
GPs will continue to offer the free flu vaccine to pregnant women and other people in eligible groups, including anyone aged 65 and over, young children and anyone with an underlying health condition.
Head of NHS Immunisation in the South West, Dr Julie Yates, said, “Flu can cause serious health problems for pregnant women and their unborn children, who are much more vulnerable to the disease.”
“Getting vaccinated significantly reduces the risks and I would urge all pregnant women to get their free vaccine now before the virus starts circulating this winter.”