A pregnant mum from Nottingham has spoken about the importance of getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy.
Keisha Reid, who is 19-weeks pregnant with twins, decided to get the flu vaccine at her local GP when she knew that vaccinations were taking place.
The 34-year-old health visitor, who works all over Nottingham city, said she decided to get the vaccine as she knew about the health risks of catching the flu.
She said: “I got the flu vaccine because it is the best protection for me and my twins. If I caught the flu it could be very dangerous but now I know we are protected and it only took two minutes.
“I would urge all women to get the vaccine as there is no reason not to. It is safe, it is tested and it is so quick and easy to get done. I think the moment anyone does their research on why they should get vaccinated when pregnant they get it done; once you know the risks you don’t want to take the chance.”
Women are at higher risk of complications from flu during pregnancy because they have a weaker immune system. As a result, the NHS offers pregnant women a free flu vaccine due to likelihood of it developing into a more serious illness such as Bronchitis or Pneumonia. In rare cases, flu can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and even the death of the mother.
Dr Husein Mawji, a GP at the Victoria and Mapperley Practice, said: “The number of pregnant women taking up the offer of the free flu vaccine is still quite low in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, which is worrying. Pregnant women are at a much higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu affecting them and their baby, including a higher risk of their baby being born prematurely, with a low birthweight, or even stillbirth. I would urge all pregnant women to think very seriously about getting the vaccine as it is the best protection for you and your baby.”
Pregnant women in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can get the free flu vaccine from their GP, a local pharmacist or at a hospital.
For women receiving maternity care from Nottingham University Hospitals they can get the vaccine at the Queen’s Medical Centre or Nottingham City when they go for a scan or at drop-in antenatal sessions at:
· Queen’s Medical Centre antenatal clinic: 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday
· Nottingham City Hospital: 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday
For pregnant women who are receiving maternity care from Sherwood Forest Hospitals (SFH) they will be offered the flu vaccination at the antenatal clinic at the time of their 12 or 20 week scan. The vaccine will available at both the King’s Mill and Newark Hospital sites.
For more information please visit: https://nottsccg.nhs.uk/flu-guidance/the-flu-vaccine-in-pregnancy/