Flu fairies have been spreading their magic as well as important messages to mums-to-be visiting Walsall Manor Hospital’s antenatal clinic today.
They have been talking about the importance and benefits of having the flu and COVID-19 jabs as well as taking part in creative activities. They are promoting both jabs for pregnant women as part of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s efforts with Public Health Walsall, to spread the message about how important the vaccinations are to this high-risk group of people.
Alison Strain, Lead Flu Fairy said: “Sam Hale and Rachel Parker are my flu fairies and they make the fairies with the mums. This is our seventh year of coming here.
“They talk to the mums about having the COVID-19, flu and whooping cough vaccinations (available for pregnant women from 20 weeks), and what the drivers and barriers might be to having those vaccinations.
“People are really receptive and they are happy to have a chat.
“Also, having the chance to take part in a creative activity while they are having that discussion engages the mums too.”
Mum-of-two Hannah Brookes, 33, from Bloxwich is 13 weeks pregnant and was waiting for a scan.
Flu fairy Sam made a fairy with her.
Hannah said: “I think the flu fairies is a lovely idea and the advice they are giving out will be acted upon. I plan to have my flu jab now.”
Flu fairy Rachel spoke to mum-of-two Kerry Melia, 42. Kerry, from Tipton, has had both COVID vaccinations and her booster and is booked in for her flu jab next week.
Rachel said: “This is a good opportunity to raise awareness by talking about the difference vaccines on offer when pregnant.
“It has been very positive in terms of having those conversations and signposting people to midwives for information.”
Kerry said: “Having the flu fairies is a good idea to engage with the mums. I’ve got daughters aged four and three and I thought I’d better take a fairy home for both of them otherwise the other one won’t be happy!”
Donna Perkins, Antenatal Clinic Manager at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I love having the flu fairies here. It’s invaluable to have that face-to-face contact and the ability to have an informal discussion about what the options are, along with the added choice of being able to speak to a clinician too.
“We really missed the flu fairies during COVID-19 and I want a set of wings too!”
Flu fairies will be landing again on Friday 11 November, Monday 21 November and Monday 12 December.