The Regional Chief Midwife in the Midlands, Janet Driver, is urging pregnant women to get their free flu jab. Thousands of women in the region last year failed to get vaccinated leaving themselves and their unborn babies vulnerable to the deadly flu virus.
Janet Driver, Regional Chief Midwife for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said:
“The flu is a highly infectious illness, which can be very serious during pregnancy for both mums-to-be and their babies. That is why I am encouraging all pregnant women to have the vaccine as soon as possible so they are protected from flu viruses circulating this winter.
“This winter will be like no other with the presence of Covid-19 in our communities. Flu, which can be deadly or need hospital treatment, poses additional threats during the pandemic. There is some evidence a double infection with coronavirus and flu may be more serious and can have a significant impact on respiratory function.
“During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system can be compromised and leaves her less able to fight off infections. It can lead to problems such as pneumonia and it can be fatal for a small number of women. It can also lead to miscarriage or premature birth, and it has been linked to having a low-weight baby and stillbirth.
“I can assure everyone that the flu jab is safe and it’s impossible to get flu from the vaccine because the adult vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses. The vaccine is free and will provide vital protection for pregnant women and their babies. It will also pass some protection to babies that will last for the first few months of their lives. So, if you are pregnant and haven’t yet had your vaccine, please speak with your GP, maternity service provider or local participating pharmacy as soon as possible.”
For further information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/