Annual flu vaccine for pregnant women
Catching flu in pregnancy can be dangerous for you and your baby. The vaccine can't give you flu and will only benefit your unborn baby.
All pregnant women should have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their baby because:
- you're more likely to catch flu as your immune system is naturally weakened
- you're more likely to develop serious complications from flu such as pneumonia, 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 help protect your newborn baby against flu during their first few months of life
The flu vaccine is safe to have at any stage of pregnancy. If you have 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 and your baby from this year's viruses
- the immunity you get from the vaccine passes through the placenta and helps protect your baby
Side effects from the flu vaccine
Serious side effects are very rare, minor side effects may include:
- a sore arm at the site of the injection
- a slight temperature
- aching muscles for a couple of days after
Where you can get the flu vaccine
You have the vaccine free of charge at your GP surgery or at a local pharmacy.
Whooping cough vaccine
It's recommended that all pregnant women get the whooping cough vaccine from week 20 of each and every pregnancy.
Whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women