A pregnant midwife is urging mums-to-be to have their flu jab.
Rachel Cornes, pictured right having her vaccination, is a midwife at Watford General Hospital.
She said: “As a midwife and a mum-to-be I’ve had the jab to protect myself and my baby, but also my pregnant patients. You can have the jab at any stage of pregnancy and it can protect your baby for the first few months after birth.
“Many pregnant women don’t realise how dangerous and debilitating flu can be. Even if you’re not admitted to hospital, it can lay you low for a couple of weeks. Being unwell is the last thing you need when you’re pregnant or looking after a newborn baby, but thankfully it can be easily avoided with the flu jab.”
It normally takes up to two weeks to develop protection after the vaccination and it lasts all winter.
Last year less than 25 per cent of pregnant women in Herts were took up the offer of a free flu jab, despite the increased risks they face if they catch the virus.
Public health director Jim McManus said: “Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch flu. In fact, studies have shown that pregnant women with some strains of flu are four times more likely to develop serious illness and four to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital than the general population”.
To book an appointment to get the flu jab pregnant women should contact their midwife or GP surgery.