Pregnant women are more likely to get complications from flu due to changes in their heart and lung function. Getting flu in pregnancy may also lead to premature birth and smaller birth weight. The seasonal flu vaccine will provide protection and can be given at any stage of pregnancy.
Seasonal flu vaccine works by helping the immune system to produce antibodies to the flu virus. When someone who has been vaccinated comes into contact with the virus these antibodies then attack the virus.
In the northern hemisphere the flu season lasts from October to the end of April. Flu vaccine is recommended for all women who become pregnant at any stage during the flu season.
Vaccination during pregnancy protects your baby up to the first six months and also prevent you getting flu and passing it on to your baby.
The Flu vaccine will not give you the flu. Flu vaccine contains killed or inactivated viruses and therefore cannot cause flu. It does, however, take 10 – 14 days for the vaccine to start protecting against flu.
Seasonal flu vaccines have been given to millions of pregnant women in the last ten years. Reactions are generally mild and serious side effects are very rare.