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Winter vaccinations and pregnancy

The flu vaccine is offered every year on the NHS to pregnant individuals to prevent them from getting seriously ill from the flu. Read to learn more

 

 2021.10.20 WV Bus 2 Digital eSig

 

This autumn and winter COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccinations are critical to protecting lives, livelihoods, and the NHS.

Why it’s important  

You must get your flu and COVID-19 booster vaccine this year, as more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, if you were to have COVID-19 and flu at the same time, research shows that you are more likely to be seriously ill. 

There is good evidence that pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.

If you have flu while you're pregnant, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birthweight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

One in five* COVID-19 patients receiving ECMO therapy (used when the lungs are too damaged to use a ventilator), is in an unvaccinated pregnant women.

It's recommended that all pregnant women have the flu and COVID-19 vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're at.

  

Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnancy 

Yes. Studies have shown that it's safe to have the flu vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.

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.

It's safe for women who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.

 

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe during pregnancy 

Evidence so far reviewed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK regulatory agency responsible for licencing medicines including vaccines, has raised no concerns for safety in pregnancy.

The vaccine does not contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection to a pregnant woman or in the baby. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain a different harmless virus to help deliver the vaccine – whilst this virus is live, it cannot reproduce and so will not cause infection in a pregnant woman or the baby, to learn more click here.To learn more about the flu vaccine during pregnancy visit: https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/flu-jab/

 

When should I have the flu vaccine?

The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, before flu starts circulating. If you've missed this time, you can have the flu vaccine later in the winter although it's best to get it earlier.

Do not worry if you find that you're pregnant later in the flu season – you can have the vaccine then if you have not already had it.

 

How do I get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant?

Contact your midwife or GP surgery to find out where you can get the flu vaccine. It's a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine becomes available in September.

In some areas, midwives can give the flu vaccine at the antenatal clinic. In others, you will need an appointment at a GP surgery.

Some community pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine on the NHS.

 

I had the flu jab last year, do I need it again?

Yes, because the viruses that cause flu change every year. This means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year.

If you had the flu vaccine last year, either because you were pregnant or because you're in a vulnerable group, you need to have it again this year.

Find out more about how the flu vaccine works.

 

*Source:  NHS England October 2021

 

Winter vaccinations - Flu and booster 2021/2022

The flu vaccine is offered every year on the NHS to protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from the flu. Now it’s time to get your flu vaccine before flu starts spreading. Call your gp to book if you are eligible for  free NHS flu vaccine.

2021.10.20_WV_Cafe_Digital_eSig.jpg

 

This autumn and winter COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccinations are critical to protecting lives, livelihoods, and the NHS.

 

Why it’s important  

You must get your flu and COVID-19 booster vaccine this year, as more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, if you were to have COVID-19 and flu at the same time, research shows that you are more likely to be seriously ill. 

So, protect yourself and those around you, by getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. 

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine and still need your COVID-19 jab or have been invited for your booster jab, it is safe to have both at the same time. 

 

Who can have the flu vaccine? 

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who are: 

  • are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant (if you are pregnant and want to learn more about the flu vaccine, click here)
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccination? 

  • People with long term health conditions ​ 
  • People 30 years old and over​ 
  • Health and social care workers​ 

You will be invited for the COVID-19 booster jab when it’s your turn. If you meet the above eligibility, you can now pre-book at 5 months, ready for your dose at 6 months (180 days since your 2nd dose of the vaccine).

Where to get the vaccines:

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you're pregnant
  • a hospital appointment

If you have a long-term health condition you can also be offered a free flu vaccination. 

Where to get COVID-19 booster

It’s easy to book your COVID-19 vaccine through the National Booking System or call 119.

When booking you need your name and date of birth, OR NHS number.

Alternatively, you can visit a walk-in clinic where no appointment is needed.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent people aged 30+ and immunocompromised patients offered booster jabs

All people aged 30+ in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who have had their first and second jabs and immunocompromised 16+ patients who have had their three primary doses can now (December 13) get their COVID-19 booster vaccine.

From Wednesday (December 15) everybody aged 18 and over who is eligible will also be able to get their booster shot.

The planned booster rollout has been extended and sped up to help people stay safer this winter and protect them against any potential threat from the newly discovered Omicron variant.

Local health chiefs are calling on patients to get their jabs as soon as they are eligible after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised the Government that booster vaccinations for people aged 18-39 should be made available more quickly than originally planned.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the major acceleration to the national booster programme on Sunday (December 12).

The decision was made to ensure that as many people as possible could get the maximum vaccine protection as scientists work to determine what effects the new Omicron variant will have.

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to substantially increase the immune response when used as a booster jab, regardless of which vaccine was administered for first and second doses.

Booster vaccinations will only be given three months or more after someone has had their second jab and patients will be able to book an appointment on the National Booking System once eligible. If you turn up to a walk-in clinic before the three-month date you will not be eligible for the vaccine.

Severely immunosuppressed patients have already been offered a third dose on top of the usual two to boost their immunity still further. These patients, once they have received all three doses, will now also be offered a booster vaccine three months after their third dose was given. Patients can discover whether they qualify for this booster dose by visiting here.

Immunosuppressed patients who have not yet received their third dose can get their third dose now to avoid further delay. They will then be able to receive their Pfizer or Moderna booster dose once three months have passed.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead for the vaccination programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, said: “Our coronavirus vaccines are playing a massive role in protecting people against all variants of COVID-19, so it is vital that people come forward to receive all their jabs as soon as they are eligible. The booster programme is now expanding, and many more appointments are being made available each day, so please keep checking and get your booster at the earliest opportunity.

“The discovery of the Omicron variant only underlines the importance of getting your primary jabs and then your booster dose to make sure that you are as well protected as possible and can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

“Making sure that the maximum number of people in our community have had their vaccine ahead of any wave of infection caused by the Omicron variant will hopefully keep people healthy and minimise its impact, helping to relieve the strain upon our health and care services at a time of year when they are already under intense pressure because of flu and other winter illnesses.”

Dr Johnny McMahon, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Public Health, said: “Keeping topped up with the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family, so please do book your booster as soon as you can.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones MBE, Director of Adult Social Care, Health Integration and Wellbeing and Director of Public Health for Stoke-on-Trent said: “People across Stoke-on-Trent continue to play a huge part in reducing the spread of Covid-19 by following the national advice and regulations.

“Now that the government has begun the implementation of these measures, it’s more important than ever that everyone in the city pull together in limiting the spread of this variant.

“Safety precautions include people being asked to work from home again whenever possible, and for face coverings to be compulsory in most public places to help contain the spread of Omicron.

“Booster jabs are hugely important to bolster your defences against this new variant. I urge all residents and communities in Stoke-on-Trent to book their first, second or booster jab without delay. It’s never too late to receive your first or second dose of the vaccine. Getting your jabs and practicing hands, face and space still remain the best ways to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Councillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for residents in Stoke-on-Trent. However, the vaccine has offered us opportunities to ease that. So many people in our city have had both their first and second jab, and are, like me, keen to now get their booster.

“There’s lots of opportunities across the city to receive the vaccine, and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to take up the free vaccinations against Covid-19.

“Having a booster jab means that I can significantly reduce the chance of catching and spreading coronavirus. It also brings me peace of mind to know that if I were to catch it, when fully vaccinated I’m far less likely to become seriously ill.

“As people now begin to come together to celebrate the festive season, getting your booster is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself, your loved ones and everyone else as safe as possible. Please book your booster jab as soon as you are eligible.”

Appointments for vaccines can be booked online through the National Booking System by visiting www.nhs.uk, or by calling 119. People should not contact their GP surgery about making vaccine appointments.

People can also get their booster vaccine at walk-in clinics. Up-to-date details and times for Staffordshire COVID-19 vaccination walk-in clinics can be found at https://www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/coronavirus/how-to-get-a-vaccine-where-and-travelling

You don’t need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to get your jab, but it will be quicker if you do, so take that information with you if you can.

Don’t miss out. Get vaccinated and get back to doing the things you love to do.

ENDS

(NOTE TO EDITORS:  Please direct people to twb webpage instead of listing individual clinics as some dates may be cancelled or amended at the last minute, or affected by winter weather conditions.)

Clinical and care professional leadership engagement

As we work towards the new Integrated Care System (ICS) this is a real opportunity for us to involve clinical and care professionals in every level of decision making.

We are engaging with clinical and care professionals across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to shape plans for a local distributed clinical and professional leadership approach.  

We want to seek views from a wide range of clinicians and care professionals to help inform this framework and model and to embed these new principles into our culture going forward. There will be two opportunities to have your say at this stage via an online survey and a virtual workshop.

Please note the virtual workshop has already taken place and the online survey has now closed.

This is building on ongoing conversations that have been had at the Health and Care Senate that represents clinicians and professionals at a system level. 

Feedback will be reviewed by the Health and Care Senate as we work towards developing plans for a local approach to clinical and professional leadership in the future.

National guidance has been issued to inform the development of distributed clinical and care professional leadership across integrated care systems (ICSs)

Would you like to find out more? 

Watch a video from Dr Rachel Gallyot about the emerging local approach here: 

To read a presentation about the emerging clinical and professional leadership approach click here.

Would you like to get involved?  

Our first multi-organisation and multi-professional networking event for clinicians and care professionals across the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent system took place on Wednesday 16 February 2022. 

This provided an opportunity to network with other professionals across the system, as well as share their views on the emerging local model and framework for clinical and care professional leadership.

We also asked clinicians and care professionals to take part in a survey to share their views. Please note that the survey closed on midnight on Sunday 20 February 2022.  

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