Hampshire mums-to-be are told to get their free flu jab

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Dr Andrew Whittamore.

Portsmouth GP advises people with breathing issues to get flu jab

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PREGNANT women are being urged to make sure they get the flu jab to protect themselves and their unborn babies in the winter.

South Central, the strategic health authority that covers Hampshire, is concerned about the number of expecting mums that have not had the free vaccination.

It was offered for the first time last year after it was found pregnant women are more vulnerable to life-threatening complications from the swine flu virus.

This year’s vaccine protects against both the seasonal and swine flu viruses.

Dr Suzanne Tyler, associate director of maternity and newborn, at South Central, said: ‘It’s worrying that not all mums-to-be are aware that if they catch the flu when pregnant, then they are more likely to suffer from serious complications, such as pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.

‘If you’re pregnant and already have a health condition such as asthma, you’re at an even greater risk of serious illness and up to 11 times more likely to die from flu than people with no existing health conditions.’

To get a free jab contact your GP.