January 6, 2011
All pregnant women are being advised to take the seasonal flu jab, whatever their stage of pregnancy. NHS Tayside is urging women to contact their GP practice now to get vaccinated.
Your midwife or GP practice will be able to answer any questions you have, and you may also be able to receive the vaccine directly from your midwife. Information is also available here.
What is flu?
Flu is a chest infection caused by a range of viruses, including the swine flu virus. Flu is easily spread by coughing or sneezing, and can cause a fever, tiredness, a cough and a sore throat.
Why is NHS Tayside recommending the vaccine?
Flu is causing severe illness in some groups of people. Pregnant women are particularly at risk, and some have become very unwell and even died from flu. This winter, a number of pregnant women have been admitted to intensive care across the United Kingdom as a result of flu.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three viruses, including the swine flu virus. Due to the worsening situation with flu, all pregnant women are now eligible for the seasonal flu vaccine. Women are at risk of severe flu from the beginning of pregnancy until two weeks after giving birth.
NHS Tayside is reassuring women that the seasonal flu vaccine is safe for use during pregnancy. It says it has been given safely to millions of people around the world for many years, and has been given routinely to pregnant women in the United States, Canada and other countries without significant problems.
What else can I do?
In addition to getting the vaccine, there are general measure you can take to prevent H1N1 flu. You can reduce - but not eliminate - the risk of catching or spreading H1N1 flu by: