Despite the flu vaccination being recommended and offered by the NHS for free during pregnancy,1 56% of mums-to-be did not have one last year.2
As part of their mission to raise the health and happiness of the nation, Boots UK is encouraging more pregnant women to have the flu vaccination at their local pharmacy this winter, by reassuring them of the health benefits for them and their baby.
Having the flu vaccination helps safeguard mum and baby from preventable complications that can arise from catching flu, whilst also providing some protection to their unborn child for the first few months of its life.1
Boots UK has partnered with Emily MacDonagh – junior doctor, second time expectant mother and wife of Peter Andre – to encourage other pregnant women to have their free NHS flu vaccination. Emily says, “Like all mums, I worried about the health of my baby during this pregnancy and my first, so I understand it can be difficult to know what precautions are the right ones to take. However, from my training as a doctor I know that having a flu vaccination during pregnancy is so important for protecting you and your baby from the complications of flu.
“That’s why I’ve teamed up with Boots UK to encourage other expectant mums to have their free flu vaccination courtesy of the NHS. I want to reassure them that it is a safe precaution, recommended by the government, that helps you develop immunity to the virus which is also passed onto your unborn baby.”
As a mother herself, Boots Pharmacist Angela Chalmers also wants to encourage expectant mums to make the right health decisions, “I want to reassure you that having the flu vaccination is a positive step in protecting you and your baby. Complications that can occur if pregnant women catch flu include bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections and meningitis. It can also mean the baby is born prematurely or has a low birth weight.1
“You should have the flu vaccination as early as possible in the season so you're protected by the time the flu viruses are circulating in the winter, but if you find out you're pregnant later on don’t worry, it will still provide you with protection for you and your baby. If you are expecting a baby and have any concerns, drop into your local Boots store where one of our fully trained pharmacists will be able to answer your questions, administer your vaccination and offer any additional advice on staying well whilst pregnant this winter.”
The NHS offers the flu vaccination for free to mums-to-be from September to February each year, and it is widely available in pharmacies. With over 2,000 Boots stores across England and Wales offering the free vaccination*, you have more choice and opportunities to get it at a time and place that’s convenient for you, including in the evening and at weekends at some Boots stores, where an in-store consultation and jab, if suitable, will only take approximately 15 minutes.
You are eligible for a free flu vaccination if you are pregnant, 65 years of age or over, or have certain medical conditions. Ask in your local Boots store about the Winter Flu Vaccination Service to find out more or book online here: https://www.boots.com/en/_1539793.
*Subject to stock and specially-trained pharmacist availability. You must be 18 or over to get your free NHS jab at Boots. One of our specially-trained pharmacists will see if it is suitable for you following a quick consultation and the completion of a questionnaire
1. NHS Choices, The flu jab in pregnancy, http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/flu-jab-vaccine-pregnant.aspx, last accessed 07.09.16
2. Public Health England, Influenza immunisation programme for England: GP patient groups data collection survey season 2014 to 2015 (p19), https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/429612/Seasonal_Flu_GP_Patient_Groups_Annual_Report_2014_15.pdf, last accessed 07.09.16