Pregnant women will be able to have their flu vaccination at Walsall Manor Hospital from today (Friday 15 October) thanks to sessions being set up within antenatal clinic.
Women have a higher risk of catching flu in pregnancy and there is a higher chance of developing complications if they get the virus particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
Laura Parsons, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Matron for Community , MLU and outpatients maternity, said: “We are really pleased that we can start offering flu vaccinations from today for our pregnant women.
“The vaccination will not only protect them it also passes some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives. The virus can be more serious if you catch it whilst pregnant because your immune system is weakened to help your pregnancy so you’re less able to fight off infections. If you have diabetes or some other conditions, this can also increase your chance of getting flu.
“One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis which can develop into pneumonia. Having flu while pregnant could mean the baby is born prematurely or has a low birthweight. It may even lead to stillbirth or death in the first week of life.
“We want to reassure pregnant women that the flu vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to the expected due date. It doesn’t carry risks for either mum or baby and poses no risk to breastfeeding mums.
The viruses that cause flu change every year. This means that 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 still need to have it again this year.
”The last year or so has been an incredibly challenging time for mums-to-be due and we understand that some may have questions or concerns about the flu vaccine. Please talk to your midwife or maternity services staff who will give you accurate information on which to make an informed decision.”
All mums-to-be attending antenatal appointments and scans will be offered the vaccination.