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The flu vaccine 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

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

It's recommended that all pregnant women have the flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're at and now it’s time to get your flu vaccine before flu starts spreading, to protect you and your baby. 

 

Why it’s important  

The flu jab will help protect you and your baby, and is especially important 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

To learn more about the flu vaccine during pregnancy visit: https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/flu-jab/

 

Flu Vaccination 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.

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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. 

Why it’s important  

It is important that you get your flu 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 who is 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

Where to get the flu vaccine  

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. 

The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you're at risk of serious problems if you get flu.

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.

If you are pregnant and would like to learn more about the flu vaccine during pregnancy, please click here

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