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Campaign urges pregnant women and children to get the flu jab

Pregnant women and parents with young children across Brighton and Hove are being urged to get the free flu vaccination now to protect themselves and their children from getting ill this winter.

The NHS has launched a national campaign to ask people at risk of severe illness from flu to take up the offer of the free vaccination at their GP or pharmacist.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can be dangerous for those at risk of serious health complications, including pregnant women and children.

This is because pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, which means flu can cause complications for pregnant women as they are less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of them and their unborn baby becoming ill.

Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults, and some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu (such as bronchitis or pneumonia) and may even need hospital treatment. For them, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray from a GP if aged 2 to 3 years old. School children from reception class through to year 4 will get their nasal spray vaccination through their school.

Dr Katie Stead, GP and Clinical Lead for Public Health for Brighton and Hove CCG:
“Flu can be horrible for children, it can lead to serious health problems and they can also spread it around the whole family. The flu vaccine protects children, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions from serious complications if they were to get the flu.

“If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your GP or pharmacist to get the flu jab.”

Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.