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Flu jab plea to mums-to-be

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PREGNANT women in the region are being urged to get the flu jab this winter.

FluCampaign 1

The Royal College of Midwives is urging more mums-to-be across Dumfries and Galloway to get the vaccine and help protect themselves and their babies.

It comes after statistics highlighted that only half (53 per cent) of those pregnant locally had the vaccine last winter.

And midwives are warning that pregnant women who contract flu are also five times more likely to have a stillborn baby, or for the baby to die in the first week following birth.

Director of the Royal College of Midwives Scotland, Mary Ross-Davie said: “Flu is a really serious illness – it is not just a bad cold. It can have a serious impact on those expecting a baby, which is why we’re encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.

“If you’ve been pregnant before, remember that a healthy and flu-free pregnancy last time is no guarantee that you won’t catch flu this time.

“The flu vaccine is free, it’s safe to have at any time during pregnancy, and it only takes a few minutes.”

Dr Nigel Calvert is the flu immunisation co-ordinator in Dumfries and Galloway and he said: “It’s so important that pregnant women get the flu vaccine this year as they are at greater risk of flu related complications.

“The vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their baby at any stage of pregnancy and also helps protect them both from what can be a serious virus.

“We are urging all pregnant women in Dumfries and Galloway to make an appointment with their GP practice; it will help protect you for up to a year and also your baby for at least three months after birth.”

Visit www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/flu or phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 for further information

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