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Q&A: getting your flu jab in pregnancy

November 17, 2019

My name is Anne Connolly and I’m a local GP and today I’m sitting with Kamal who is pregnant and we are going to talk about getting the flu jab. So why do I need to get the flu jab when I’m pregnant Anne? So it’s really important that women like you who are pregnant get the flu jab. Flu is a serious illness for anybody and it can cause significant problems but during pregnancy it can not only affect you but it can affect the pregnancy itself. and obviously you’re a little more run down when you’re pregnant so you want to do everything you can to keep fit and well. I have heard from some people that it can affect your baby? And possibly even cause a miscarriage – is that right? No. The flu jab is very safe, there has been lots of research and it’s much better to prevent you getting flu than to risk you getting flu. Because women who do get flu or have any other serious illness like that, do have a higher risk of a miscarriage and also run a higher risk of problems in labour and other problems with the baby, so yes it is really important for you. Will I get any side effects? And when can I have it in pregnancy? Can I have it any stage? The flu jab you can have at any stage and it’s a dead vaccine so it doesn’t give you the flu-type illness that some people think it does. And where can I go to get it? Can I go to my pharmacy or do I have to go to my GP practice? You can get your flu jab from a number of places. You can get it from the pharmacy you will be advertising, or you can get it through your GP or you can talk to your midwife about whether you can get it through the maternity service. I need to get some other vaccinations done as part of my pregnancy – can I get it done at the same time? That’s a conversation to have with your midwife because we do encourage women to have the whooping cough vaccine but that is a more specific timing whereas the flu jab can be given at any time. Is there anywhere else I can go for some more information if I do need it? So online you can get this leaflet, and we will put the link to this at the bottom of this video. Or your GP should have some of these or talk to your pharmacist. This take you through what you need to know about the flu jab and also talks you through the importance of the flu jab for young children as well.

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