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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Pregnant women and the annual flu vaccine

​​​Annual flu vaccine for pregnant women

It’s recommended that all pregnant women have the annual flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy you're at. It's the best way to protect yourself and your baby from flu. 

Even if you had the flu vaccine during a previous pregnancy, you should have it again during this pregnancy as:

  • a new flu vaccine is released every year because flu viruses change. The vaccine you had in a previous pregnancy may not protect you from this year's viruses
  • the immunity you get from the vaccine passes onto your baby through the placenta to protect them against flu

Why you should get the annual flu vaccine

When you're pregnant:

  • you’re more likely to catch flu as your immune system is naturally weakened
  • you're more likely to develop serious complications from flu, compared with other women​
  • getting flu ​can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, having a premature birth or having a low birth weight baby 
  • having the vaccine will protect your newborn baby against flu during their first few months of life

The flu jab in pregnancy on the NHS Choices website

Flu symptoms​​​

​​​Flu on NHS Choices website

Where you can get the vaccine​

It's available at your GP surgery. ​

You won't have to pay for the vaccine but your GP may charge you a consultation fee - check with your surgery. 

When you should get t​he vaccine

The annual flu vaccine is available during October until the end of January. 

To protect yourself and your baby before the winter flu viruses start circulating, try to have the vaccine as soon as possible. 

You can have it whatever stage of pregnancy you're at. 

Vaccine safety

In the UK and Jersey, the flu vaccine has been routinely recommended for pregnant women since 2009. 

The vaccine can’t give you flu and won'​t harm your unborn baby, and evidence tells us that your baby will benefit if you have the flu vaccine. 

​The vaccine will stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies that will protect you against flu. These antibodies will also pass across the placenta to your baby to protect them against flu during their first few months of life.​​

Side effects​​​​

Serious side effects are very rare. 

Minor side effects can include:

  • a sore arm at the site of the injection

  • occasionally a slight temperature

  • occasionally aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards

Whooping cough vaccine and flu vaccine​

It's recommeded that all pregnant women have the whooping cough vaccine from week 20 of each and every pregnancy.

You can have your flu vaccine at the same time as your whooping cough vaccine. Don't delay your flu vaccine ​so you can have both at the same time.​​

Whooping cough ​vaccine​ for pregnant women

 

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