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:
The flu jab in pregnancy on the NHS Choices website
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 the 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.
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.
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