Pregnant women should boost their immunity with free vaccines

17 November 2021

Pregnant women in Kent and Medway are being urged to have their free Covid-19 and flu vaccines to protect them and their baby. 

Pregnancy changes the body’s immune system and pregnant women are more likely to become seriously ill with Covid-19 or flu, putting themselves and their unborn baby at considerable harm.

If mums-to-be have not yet attended or been booked in to attend a flu clinic at their GP practice, they should contact their surgery or book with any pharmacy. Covid-19 vaccines can be booked online or through a walk-in clinic. There’s just one dose for flu and two doses for Covid-19, eight weeks apart.

Pregnant women are also eligible for a booster jab six months after their second dose if they meet the criteria, such as being clinically extremely vulnerable.

Paula Wilkins, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s really easy for pregnant women who have yet to be vaccinated to grab a jab and it’s crucial that everyone has both a flu and Covid-19 vaccine.

“Both vaccines can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy and they cannot give you flu or Covid because they do not contain any live viruses. The viruses can make you severely unwell and cause premature births, low birth weight and even stillbirths. By having the jabs while you’re pregnant, you pass some protection on to your baby, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.                               

“Please get your vaccine now and give your child the best start in life.”

National research shows pregnant women are more likely to become seriously ill from Covid-19 and 98 per cent of those in hospital due to Covid-19 are unvaccinated.

Pregnant women are also more likely to have severe Covid-19 infection if they are overweight or obese. The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommend vaccination as one of the best defences against severe infection.

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