Mums-to-be across the Chesterfield area are being urged to take advantage of the free flu vaccination available during their maternity appointment at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Flu can be a serious illness during pregnancy, leading to complications for both mum and baby, which is why the team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital is now offering the flu vaccination as part of routine maternity clinics.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has worked with NHS England to provide vaccinating nurses within the clinics. This saves busy mums-to-be the need to book an appointment at their GP surgery as they can benefit from the vaccines when they attend hospital for their scans or maternity check-ups.
As well as the flu jab, the nurses give the whooping cough vaccination, which is recommended for women after the 16th week of pregnancy. In addition to protecting women from complications such as pneumonia, when mothers have the vaccinations during pregnancy they are able to pass on the protection to their babies, and this lasts for the first few weeks after birth.
Linda Gustard, head of nursing and midwifery at Chesterfield Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The flu vaccination is not a live vaccine and it is perfectly safe to administer during pregnancy. Any of the nurses trained to give the vaccine during the clinics will be more than happy to talk you through it and answer any questions that you might have.”
Dr Ken Deacon, medical director for NHS England (North Midlands), said: “Research has shown that pregnant women have a higher risk of serious complications from flu or whooping cough, even if they have no other health issues. It is not too late to have the flu vaccination for this winter so we encourage women to ask their midwife or doctor about receiving it soon.”
As an alternative, pregnant women are also able to have the free vaccinations at their GP surgery.