Pregnant? Here's why you need your flu jab

If you're pregnant and haven't had your flu jab yet, here are a few reasons why you should

Flu vaccine

Last winter just four in 10 pregnant women got their free flu vaccination – even though it can be deadly for vulnerable mums-to-be, who have a higher chance of complications and the more serious effects of flu. It can be particularly serious if you pass it on to your newborn baby.

Having the vaccine will also protect your baby during the first few months after birth.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives have joined forced to encourage more mums-to-be to come forward and get their free flu vaccine this winter.

Here's a bit of myth-busting for you if you're not convinced:

It could harm my baby: The flu vaccine has a good safety record and has no associated risk of complications for mum or baby – it won't harm your baby but it could protect both of you.

Flu isn't that serious: Flu is serious. It's highly infectious and can lead to pneumonia, or even miscarriage, still birth or prematurity if complications ensue.

It's too late/too early to get it: It's never too late to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.

The vaccine doesn't work: The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against a virus that leads to severe illnesses and deaths every year.

It will give you flu: This just isn't true.

If you had it last year you don't need it this year: The viruses that cause flu change every year – so the flu and therefore the vaccine this year may be different from last year.

I haven't received an invitation: Every pregnant woman in the UK is entitled to, and should have, a free flu vaccine.

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