Free flu jabs for Weston mums-to-be
By Prue_Reid | Thursday, October 18, 2012, 11:51
Pregnant women are being offered a free flu jab at Weston hospital.
Vaccinations are being offered at the 12 and 20-week scan clinics at Weston General Hospital between now and the end of January 2013.
Weston Area Health NHS Trust is pleased to be able to offer this service, particularly in the light of the World Health Organisation's advice that pregnant women are the highest priority group for flu immunisation.
It is known that the flu vaccine is effective against severe disease and that the vaccination of the pregnant woman provides immunity to her baby through the transfer of her antibodies and protects the baby for the first four to six months after birth.
The flu vaccine cannot give you flu and is completely safe at any stage of pregnancy.
Weston Area Health Trust director of nursing Irene Gray said: "We encourage all pregnant women to have the seasonal flu vaccine, and would be delighted to see as many women as possible taking up this service.
"While this service is offered by GP practices as a matter of course, we are very pleased that this year, we are able to offer an additional opportunity to access the vaccination through our ante-natal screening and ultrasound-scan clinics.
"Pregnant women are known to be more prone to suffer complications from flu because their natural immunity to infection is reduced, so having the injection will help protect both them and their baby over the first few months of life."
Any pregnant woman registered with a North Somerset GP practice is able to drop in to the hospital's ultrasound clinic for their injection, although it is expected that they will be most accessed by those attending specifically for their scans.
The 12 and 20-week clinics are held every weekday afternoon from 1-4pm in October and November and 12-week clinics only will be accessible every afternoon, except Thursday, in December and January.