Is it important that I have the flu vaccine?

Pregnancy and Flu

Seasonal flu circulates in our community every winter, flu is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person. Flu is far more serious than a cold. Symptoms hit suddenly and severely and include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles.

Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the H1N1 strain of the flu virus that will be circulating this winter. Flu can cause serious illness in pregnant women. Over the past two years, a significant number of pregnant women in the North West have been critically ill in hospital suffering from flu – sometimes with devastating consequences.

A vaccine is available every year to protect those people who are most at risk - including pregnant women, from catching or spreading flu. The vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy and can also offer protection for your unborn baby against flu during the first six months of life.

Pregnant women should have the vaccine as soon as possible, it is available free of charge from October 2011 at your GP practice.

To find out more about the vaccine, please contact your GP practice, speak to your midwife or visit www.nhs.uk

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