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Pregnant women encouraged to get flu vaccination

16/11/2020

Pregnant women in Oxfordshire are being urged to make sure that they have a free NHS flu vaccination.

One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. If you have flu while you're pregnant, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Lead at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "It's really important for pregnant women to have the flu vaccine as pregnancy weakens the body's immune system and can cause serious complications for the mother and baby.

"The vaccine is safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women and actually passes some protection on to your baby in the first few months of life. I urge all pregnant women to visit their GP practice to have the vaccination when contacted by their surgery."

If you are pregnant you can get the free flu vaccine at your GP practice, at community pharmacies and most maternity services.

For more information about the flu vaccination, please see the CCG website.

In 2020, the NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East - up from 2.6 million last winter - to help prevent the spread of flu.

For the first time, children in school Year 7, and household contacts and carers of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, are all eligible for the free vaccination. The full list of those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS is below.

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical 'at risk' groups'
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 and 3
  • Children in primary school and Year 7
  • People in long-stay residential care homes
  • Social care and hospice workers who provide direct patient contact
  • Health and social care staff working in residential/nursing homes
  • Patients on the NHS shielded patient list
  • Household contacts of carers and those on the NHS shielded patient list