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Monday 25th June 2018

Pregnant women to get flu jab

30th September 2010

Family doctors are being urged to include pregnant women in the seasonal flu vaccination campaign for the first time.


The Department of Health wants GPs to invite all pregnant women to receive the vaccination, which contains the H1N1 swine flu strain as one of three component influenza strains.

It comes amid concerns from the southern hemisphere that swine flu will continue this winter, with pregnant women regarded as among those at risk.

The decision was recommended to ministers by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI) for this 2010-2011 flu campaign.

The Department of Health’s director of immunisation Professor David Salisbury acknowledged the move was a "big shift in thinking".

He said: "The recommendation as it stands is for this year only but the JCVI will consider the routine vaccination of pregnant women. This has gone back and forth a number of times and we need a definitive recommendation from the JCVI."

He said that GPs should allay any concerns pregnant women have to ensure a high take up of the vaccination.

“To ignore the vaccine because of a prejudice against the swine flu vaccine is putting yourself at risk,” said Professor Salisbury. “That’s important to say, even if it’s uncomfortable, as that attitude of refusing the vaccine ignores the risks.

"The reason the JCVI recommended we keep pregnant women in was because of the risks that emerged during the H1N1 pandemic, when pregnant women were disproportionately at risk of hospitalisations and complications.”

He said it was in the best interests of pregnant women to be vaccinated.


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