Pregnant women urged to get the flu and Covid-19 jabs ahead of winter
7 November 2022
Expectant mothers have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu or Covid-19.
Pregnant women in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are being urged to have both their flu and COVID-19 autumn booster ahead of what is predicted to be a tough winter, in order to get the best protection from the viruses for themselves and their baby.
For women who become pregnant it gets harder to fight off infections and this means they are at greater risk from becoming seriously ill with covid – especially in their third trimester – and also from flu, with both capable of causing complications for mother and baby.
Evidence also shows that most pregnant women with Covid-19 who need hospital treatment or intensive care in the UK have not been vaccinated.
Being vaccinated is still the best way of getting protected against the virus and health experts in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are urging women to come forward if they have not yet been vaccinated.
Alison Bussey, Chief Nursing Officer for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, said: “Sadly we have seen a number of cases where unvaccinated women and their babies have become seriously ill or died of Covid-19 during pregnancy.
“The vaccine provides high levels of protection and both the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommend vaccination as one of the best defences against severe infection.
“It is safe to have the vaccines during any stage of your pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. You do not need to delay your vaccinations until after you have given birth as there is no evidence to suggest Covid-19 vaccination or the flu jab pose any risk to your or your baby during pregnancy.”
The country is bracing itself for a challenging winter as data from Australia – which has been through its winter – show that the potential ‘twindemic’ of both Covid-19 and flu can take a heavy toll on communities and health services.
Add to this the fact that the flu virus spreads easily, that more people will be mixing indoors, and a higher number of flu cases are expected this winter, and it is clear why it is really important to get vaccinated.
Alison Bussey continues, “If you’ve not yet had your first two doses or booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or this year’s flu jab, it’s important to get your vaccinations as soon as possible as the antibodies your body produces in response to the vaccines will not only protect you but can also give your baby protection.
“Women who have had the flu jab and the Covid-19 vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
“So please don’t delay – get you flu jab and Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible.”
Pregnant women can get their vaccinations at any point during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
COVID-19 vaccine centres operated throughout Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, including a roving mobile service which is visiting some of the areas with the lowest uptake. You can book an appointment visit the National Booking System or walk-in (no appointment needed) to one of the drop in clinics for dates and time, visit here. Further advice for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding, can be found here.
For a full list of Pharmacies offering a free NHS flu vaccination please click here. Please call 119 if you need help. For more information on the flu vaccination visit www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations.
Page last updated 7 November 2022