Pregnant women in Kent and Medway are being urged to have their free flu vaccination to protect them and their baby.
Pregnancy weakens the body’s immune system, which means flu can cause complications as they are less able to fight off infections.
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.
Paula Wilkins, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Having the flu vaccination is more important than ever this year.
“The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy and it cannot give you flu because it does not contain any live flu viruses.
“If you are pregnant, you are eligible for a free flu vaccination to protect both you and your baby against the flu virus.
“The most common complication of flu for pregnant women is bronchitis – a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia.
“The virus can also cause premature births, low birth weight and even stillbirths.
“By having the flu jab while you’re pregnant, you pass some protection on to your baby, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
“Please book your flu vaccine now and have a flu-free Christmas.”
More information on the flu vaccine is available on nhs.uk.