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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 50 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.

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