Expectant mothers in West Sussex are urged to protect themselves and their unborn baby from the risks of flu this winter and get their free flu vaccine.
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing Christine Field said: “Flu can cause serious illness in pregnant women and in the most severe cases can put the lives of expectant mums and their unborn babies at risk. I would urge all pregnant women in West Sussex to take action now and get their free flu vaccine at their GP surgery.
“The flu vaccine is safe for mothers-to-be and their unborn baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy. Getting the vaccine will also reduce the risk of passing the virus on to family and friends.”
Flu is different to getting a cold and the effects of seasonal flu can be serious. The flu vaccine is provided free at GP surgeries for people with long-term conditions, carers, those aged over 65, pregnant women and children who are aged two or three-years-old as of September 1st 2013.
Christine added: “Flu is highly infectious. The virus that causes flu changes every year, as does the vaccine, which is why it is so important that those at risk protect themselves and get the vaccine every year.”
Everyone can also take simple steps to reduce their risk of catching and spreading flu by:
- covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposing of that tissue after one use; and
- cleaning hands as soon as possible afterwards with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.
To find out more visit the get ready for winter web pages on the County Council website.