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Pregnant women must have flu jab this winter, warn health bodies

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All pregnant women have been urged by doctors to get a free flu vaccination this winter to ensure they and their babies are protected.

People can get infected with flu and coronavirus at the same time - with Public Health England finding if you get both simultaneously you may get more seriously ill.

Researchers previously said those who have been infected with both viruses face a serious increase to their risk of death and warned the public “not to be complacent” in the wake of fears flu could circulate around the country alongside COVID-19.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives note while getting flu is not a big deal for most people, getting the virus while you are pregnant can be serious for a small proportion of women and their babies. Flu can occasionally lead to stillbirth, maternal death and raise the chances of having a miscarriage.

Dr Edward Morris, president of RCOG, said: “We are keen to reassure pregnant women that flu vaccination is safe for women to have at any stage in pregnancy - from the first few weeks right up to their due date, and while breastfeeding."

"Over the last 10 years, the flu vaccine has been routinely and safely offered to pregnant women in the UK. The vaccine can also pass some protection to babies, which lasts for the first months of their lives."

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Source: The Independent, 12 October 2020

 

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