Pregnant? Protect yourself and your baby with essential vaccines this winter

13 January 2022

All pregnant women should have the flu and the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their babies, at any stage of pregnancy.

The flu jab will help protect both you and your baby. 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. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia.

Studies have shown that it is safe to have the flu vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. 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. Book your flu vaccine via your midwife, GP surgery or visit a local pharmacist who is offering the service. Visit the NHS website for more information on the flu jab in pregnancy.

Since July, one in five COVID patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were expectant mums who have not had their first jab. Book your COVID-19 vaccine via the NHS website and visit the NHS website for more information on pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cllr Piers Allen, Lead member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“It does not matter how many months pregnant you are or how fit and healthy you may feel you may be at higher risk of developing complications if you get flu.

“By having the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant, you will also be passing some protection on to your baby, lasting for the first few months of their lives.”

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Up to: January 2022

Updated: 26 January 2022

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