Pregnant women are being urged to get their free flu vaccination this year – to protect them and their unborn baby.

Expectant mothers are among a number of groups eligible for the flu jab for free through their GP, pharmacy or midwife.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The immune system is naturally lower during pregnancy and there's good evidence that pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they develop flu, so we are encouraging all pregnant women to get their free flu vaccination this winter.

“Studies have shown that the vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to their expected due date, and it's also safe for women when they are breastfeeding.

“Women who have the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass on some vital protection to their babies which lasts for the first few months of their lives.” 

She added: “Even if you’ve had the flu vaccination before, it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too. If you are towards the end of your pregnancy you can also have the whooping cough vaccination at the same time.”

To book a free flu vaccine, pregnant women should contact their GP, midwife or pharmacy. 

Free flu vaccinations are also available to people aged 50 and over, frontline health care staff, people in long stay residential care homes, carers, close contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised and children over the age of 6 months with a long term health condition. Adults who are not eligible for a free flu jab can get it for a small charge from certain high street pharmacies. 

Meanwhile, children aged 2 and 3 and pupils from Reception through to Year 11 are eligible for a free vaccination in school delivered via a quick and painless nasal spray. 

Wolverhampton’s award winning Flu Fighters campaign has returned once more to encourage pupils to get their vaccine, and free copies of this year's exciting storybook, Flu Fighters on a Vacc-tastic Voyage, are being distributed to all primary aged children in the city a few weeks before their vaccination is due. 

They, and secondary pupils, will also receive consent forms, with parents encouraged to complete and return these as soon as they receive them to ensure their child doesn’t miss out.

For more details, please visit Flu Vaccines.