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Flu jab plea made to Keighley mothers-to-be
Pregnant Keighley women are being urged to get the flu jab to protect themselves and their unborn child.
The plea has been issued by regional health chiefs in the wake of figures which show that last winter, only 23 per cent of mums-to-be in Bradford and Airedale were immunised.
Linda Scott, immunisation and vaccination lead at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said: “Flu can cause serious illness in pregnant women and in the most severe cases can put the lives of expectant mums and their unborn babies at risk. This is because the woman’s body and immune system is adapting to accommodate the growing baby and is therefore less able to fight off the flu virus.”
Pregnant women who catch flu are at increased risk of serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia and the baby could be more susceptible to premature or stillbirth.
Linda added: “When you are pregnant with your child you want to do what is right for your baby and some mothers-to-be worry about the vaccine.
“It is safe for mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy. In fact, having a flu jab while pregnant will also automatically protect your baby against this dangerous illness because the antibodies you develop are passed to your baby and will last during the first few months of your baby’s life.
“In addition, many pregnant mothers already have children at home and with a family to look after cannot afford to fall ill. So getting the jab not only protects the mother and unborn baby, but also their loved ones too.”
All people in “at risk” groups – which include pregnant women, people with long-term health conditions, carers and the over-65s – are encouraged to get a flu jab. Pregnant women seeking more information should ask their midwife or GP practice or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.