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Pregnant women urged to take up free flu jab

Leamington Editorial 3rd Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

PREGNANT women are being urged to have their free flu jab.

South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) health chiefs say mums-to-be need to have the injection to protect themselves and their unborn baby.

Keeping healthy in pregnancy is important for babies’ growth and development. And as the immune system is lower during pregnancy catching the flu can quickly become serious.

A recent review into maternal deaths showed that nearly one in 10 deaths of new mothers is caused by flu. More than half of these could have been prevented by the flu vaccination.

South Warwickshire CCG chair Dr David Spraggett 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.”

Pregnant women are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge and are urged to speak to their midwife or GP.

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