Pregnant women encouraged to get a flu jab

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Pregnant women in West Sussex are being encouraged to get a flu jab.

The vaccine, which is free for expectant mums, protects against the virus. It is safe for both mums-to-be and their baby.

Christine Field, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “I would encourage all mums-to-be not to put off getting the flu vaccination. This simple preventative step can stop you getting this highly infectious virus which can pose a risk to you and your baby.”

Unlike the common cold, flu can be serious and cause complications for more vulnerable groups.

The flu vaccine is available for free to vulnerable groups, including:

• Pregnant women

• Those aged 65 years and over

• People aged 6 months- 64 years with long term conditions

• Children aged 2, 3 & 4 and children in school years 1, 2 & 3

• Everyone living in a residential or nursing home

• Carers.

Mrs Field added: “Even if you received the vaccine last year, this does not guarantee you will be safe this winter. A different vaccine is used each year because the virus which causes the flu changes. As a result, it is vital that you protect yourself and your baby.”

The county council is also highlighting simple steps to reduce the spread of the flu virus.

• cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of that tissue after use

• clean hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel, especially after coughing or sneezing

To find out more about seasonal flu at www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/fight-flu

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