News from our partners: Pregnant women urged to get the flu and COVID-19 vaccines ahead of winter
News from our partners NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
Expectant mothers have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu or COVID-19.
Pregnant women in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are being urged to have both their flu and COVID-19 autumn booster ahead of what is predicted to be a tough winter, in order to get the best protection from the viruses for themselves and their baby.
For women who become pregnant it gets harder to fight off infections, and this means they are at greater risk from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 – especially in their third trimester – and also from flu, with both capable of causing complications for mother and baby.
Evidence also shows that most pregnant women with COVID-19 who need hospital treatment or intensive care in the UK have not been vaccinated.
Being vaccinated is still the best way of getting protected against the virus, and health experts in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are urging women to come forward if they have not yet been vaccinated.
Alison Bussey, Chief Nursing Officer for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, said:-
“Sadly, we have seen a number of cases where unvaccinated women and their babies have become seriously ill or died of COVID-19 during pregnancy.
“The vaccine provides high levels of protection, and both the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommend vaccination as one of the best defences against severe infection.
“It is safe to have the vaccines during any stage of your pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. You do not need to delay your vaccinations until after you have given birth as there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 vaccination or the flu jab pose any risk to your or your baby during pregnancy.”
The country is bracing itself for a challenging winter, as data from Australia – which has been through its winter – show that the potential ‘twindemic’ of both COVID-19 and flu can take a heavy toll on communities and health services.
Add to this the fact that the flu virus spreads easily, that more people will be mixing indoors, and a higher number of flu cases are expected this winter, and it is clear why it is really important to get vaccinated.
Alison Bussey continued:-
“If you’ve not yet had your first two doses or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or this year’s flu jab, it’s important to get your vaccinations as soon as possible, as the antibodies your body produces in response to the vaccines will not only protect you but can also give your baby protection.
“Women who have had the flu jab and the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
“So please don’t delay – get you flu jab and COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.”
Pregnant women can get their vaccinations at any point during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
COVID-19 vaccine centres operated throughout Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, including a roving mobile service which is visiting some of the areas with the lowest uptake. You can book an appointment visit the National Booking System or walk-in (no appointment needed) to one of the drop in clinics for dates and time, visit here. Further advice for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding, can be found here.
- COVID-19 vaccination bookable appointments
Bookable appointments are available here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or call NHS 119.
- COVID-19 vaccination drop-in clinics
To find our local COVID-19 vaccination drop-in clinics please visit: www.shropshiretelfordandwrekin.nhs.uk/your-health/covid/covid-19-vaccinations/drop-in/
- Clinics dates and times are updated regularly and are subject to short notice changes. Please do check the times and dates on the day before you travel to the centre.
- Walk-in and pop-up clinics may be limited to an allocated number of vaccines. Vaccines will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Clinics may close early if all allocated vaccine has been used.
- Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS)
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) is a partnership of NHS and local government organisations, alongside independent and voluntary sector groups, working closely to transform health and care services to deliver world class care which meet current and future needs of our rural and urban populations.
Our partners include Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, West Midlands Ambulance Service Foundation Trust and numerous voluntary and community sector groups.
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin ICS has been created to encourage health and care organisations to work more closely together to improve outcomes and care for local people, reduce pressures on services and make best use of our financial resources.
It sets out ambitious plans for transformed neighbourhood services; safe and effective hospital care; ways in which new technology can be harnessed; and how gaps in the workforce can be filled and financial resources better spent. To find out more visit: www.shrospshiretelfordandwrekin.ics.nhs.uk