Free flu jab for pregnant women

If you’re pregnant, the message from Public Health England is: the flu jab is free because you need it. Find out more about vaccinating yourself and your child

The jab is free

As colder weather approaches and the risk of seasonal flu increases, Public Health England are encouraging all expectant mums to get the flu jab as soon as possible.

The flu jab is free for pregnant women – and the message is, it’s free because you need it. Flu can weaken your immune system and cause serious complications for you and your baby, so having it is important.

You don’t need to wait until a certain point in your pregnancy to get vaccinated. You can have it done anytime, even if you’re feeling fit and well. The sooner you have it, the sooner you are protected before flu starts spreading.

What’s more, when you have the flu vaccine, flu antibodies are transferred through the placenta to the baby, giving your child some protection against flu for several months after they are born.

Protect your children

Children are unsurprisingly super-spreaders of germs, and flu can be very unpleasant for young children. Vaccinations are free for children aged two-three, and school age children up to School Year 5, so contact your GP about getting your two or three year-old vaccinated. Children are given a quick and easy nasal spray instead of an injection – school age children will receive the vaccine at school.

As well as having the flu vaccine, it’s important for you and your children to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands. This will help stop the flu germs spreading.

To get you or your child vaccinated, contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife now. Visit www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine for more information.

Women are at a greater risk of catching flu in pregnancy. Learn more about prevention and treatment here.