NEARLY 1,500 pregnant women in south Warwickshire left themselves and their unborn child at risk of the flu last year.
NHS figures revealed more than half of all expectant mums took up the offer of a free jab.
Now South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging all mums-to-be to have the injection.
Doctors say contracting flu during pregnancy is associated with premature birth and babies being born a smaller size and weight.
Chairman of South Warwickshire CCG, Dr David Spraggett said: “It’s important all pregnant women have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their babies. 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.
“During pregnancy a woman’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure 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.
“Women should always get the flu vaccination every time they are pregnant as the flu virus constantly mutates and therefore the strains included in the vaccine are reviewed annually.
Contact the midwife or GP to book a flu jab.