Get the flu jab if you're pregnant

If you’re pregnant, you can get the free flu jab to protect you and your baby from complications caused by the flu virus. The message from Public Health England is it’s free because you need it.

The best protection

It’s more important than ever this year for pregnant women to take up the free flu jab, as flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby.

The vaccine is the best protection against the flu for you both. It’s free because you need it.

You can get the jab through your pharmacist, GP or midwife. Even if you feel well and are fit and healthy, if you’re pregnant you should get the flu vaccine as soon as you can.

It’s safe to have the flu jab at any time during pregnancy, and getting the jab will mean flu antibodies are transferred through the placenta to your baby. This can give your baby some protection during the first few months after birth.

As well as having the flu vaccine, the best way to stop the spread of flu is to wash your hands regularly and use a tissue when you sneeze. Throw the dirty tissue away and wash your hands.

It's free for children, too

What’s more, children aged 2-3 can also get a free flu vaccination, as well as primary school aged children from 4-11. Flu can be horrible for young children as well as adults, and they are more likely to pass it on to other people.

For these groups of children, the vaccination is given as a nasal spray. Primary school aged children will be offered it through the school – you’ll just need to sign a consent form.

More information

This year, changes have been made to make sure it’s safe to have the flu vaccine at GP surgeries and pharmacies. These include social distancing and wearing protective equipment. Find out more here.

Read about why flu is more serious during pregnancy.