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Pregnant? Protect yourself and your baby against flu


Public Health Agency

Type: News
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Pregnant women are more likely to develop serious complications as a result of flu compared to women who are not pregnant, so the message from the Public Health Agency (PHA) is to protect yourself and your baby by getting the flu vaccine. Each year the flu vaccine protects against the three most common strains of flu and this year includes swine flu (H1N1), which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.Pregnant women will now be invited by their GP, no matter what their stage of pregnancy, to get the flu vaccine. Although pregnant women are naturally cautious about taking vaccines, there is now a lot of evidence that flu vaccines are safe in pregnancy. Millions of pregnant women have received the vaccine and careful monitoring has shown the vaccine to be safe for both mother and her baby.The flu vaccine is available now and it is best to be vaccinated early so you and your baby are protected. If you become pregnant later in the winter you should get the vaccine as soon as you know you are pregnant.Pregnant women admitted to hospital with swine flu (H1N1) infection have:·         3-4 times higher rates of preterm birth·         4-5 times higher rates of stillbirth·         4-6 times higher rates of neonatal death1Dr Maureen McCartney, Consultant in Health Protection, PHA, said: "While swine flu is a mild illness for most people, it can be very serious. Experience in the UK and other countries suggests that pregnant women are around four times more likely to develop serious complications as a result of swine flu compared to women who are not pregnant. These complications include pneumonia and heart and lung problems and pregnant women are about 10 times more likely to become so ill they need to be admitted to hospital. Babies born to mothers vaccinated during pregnancy are 45-48% less likely to be hospitalised with flu in the six months after birth." 2Dr McCartney continued: "I would advise any pregnant woman who is feeling anxious about getting the flu vaccine to talk to their GP for advice."For more information on seasonal flu go to and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2011) Pregnant? Protect yourself and your baby against flu [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 14th November 2019].


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