Pregnant women urged to get fluvax
3/07/2017 3:40:36 p.m.

Monday 3 July 2017

Pregnant women urged to get fluvax

Pregnant women are being urged to get their FREE flu vaccination at the winter weather begins to bite. The plea for flu vaccination comes from doctors at Lakes District Health Board, who are seeing mums and babies from our communities really unwell with influenza.

Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with flu each year. Many will not feel sick at all, but can still pass it on to others.

Community Paediatrician Dr Belinda Coulter says pregnant women and their babies can suffer serious consequences as a result of the influenza. A FREE influenza vaccination during pregnancy reduces this risk. Dr Coulter adds that flu vaccinations are safe, effective and cannot give you the flu.

Healthy pregnant women face a much higher chance of being hospitalised with influenza complications than women who are not pregnant.

Unvaccinated pregnant women are at higher risk from the flu, even when they are fit and healthy. Flu during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage stillbirths or birth defects.

The World Health Organisation recommends flu vaccination of pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy and says that pregnant women are given the highest priority to receive the vaccine.

Flu vaccine during pregnancy provides “two for one” protection, helping reduce the risk of catching flu for mum and their baby during the first six months after birth.

There is also a vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough) which protects mum against the disease and also really helps protect baby. This vaccine should be given between 28-38 weeks in the pregnancy. Recent research shows that more than 90 per cent of babies whose mothers were vaccinated against pertussis in pregnancy are protected against the disease for the first few months of life.

Pertussis or whooping cough, is most dangerous in the very youngest babies (less than one year of age). Among babies admitted to intensive care with whooping cough, about one in six will die or be left with permanent damage.

Immunisation in pregnancy is safe and offers protection for mother and baby.

Pregnant women can receive these two vaccines FREE thru their GP or antenatal care.

Ask your midwife or doctor for more information or visit:
http://www.fightflu.co.nz/
http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/influenza
http://www.immune.org.nz/resources/written-resources/recommended-and-funded-vaccines-during-pregnancy
ends