Health Leaders Urge Pregnant Women to Have Free Flu Health Vaccination to Protect Themselves and their Babies

16 November 2020 3:12pm

Issued by Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)

Health leaders across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are encouraging pregnant women to get their free flu vaccination as soon as possible to protect themselves and their babies.

Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result, flu can cause serious complications which include premature birth or the baby having a low birth weight.

The flu vaccination in pregnancy gives mums and their unborn babies the very best protection from the harms of flu.

The free vaccine is available from GP surgeries and, due to COVID-19, staff will be giving the vaccine wearing protective equipment and all the necessary measures will be in place to make sure the flu vaccine is given in a safe environment.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “There is strong evidence that pregnant women have a higher risk of serious illness as a result of flu compared with the general population. 

The flu vaccination is a safe way of protecting pregnant women from the flu and in pregnancy the flu antibodies are transferred through the placenta to the baby, which gives the baby some protection against it for the first few months of life.

Pregnant women are a priority group for a free flu vaccination, so if you are expecting a baby, please speak to your GP Practice or local pharmacist as soon as you can. The flu vaccination is the safest way to help protect you and your baby against the flu virus.”

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health said: “Having a flu vaccination in pregnancy is more important than ever this year, no matter how many months pregnant or how fit and healthy you are.”

Liz Noakes, Telford & Wrekin’s Director of Public Health said: “If you are pregnant you need the flu vaccine now. Whilst the threat may be invisible, the protection is clear. Help protect yourself and your baby by getting a free flu vaccine.”

Pregnant women should ask their pharmacist or GP about the free flu vaccine.