Mums-to-be urged to sign up for flu jab

MUMS-to-be were today warned to avoid an own goal and get a flu jab.

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Scotland footballer Suzanne Grant, who had the flu jab, with her three-week-old baby Oscar
Scotland footballer Suzanne Grant, who had the flu jab, with her three-week-old baby Oscar

The top tip comes from football striker ­Suzanne Grant who plays for the Celtic and Scotland women's teams. She took her own advice and was vaccinated before giving birth to baby son Oscar.

And the 29-year-old from East Kilbride reckons others should do the same since the jab will protect both mum and their new borns especially since serious complications can occur during pregnancy.

Suzanne said: "My midwife had explained the benefits of getting the flu vaccination to me but my aunt who is also a midwife recommended getting immunised as it also protects my baby for up to three months after birth. Getting the jab is easy and it's good for me and my baby, so now we're both protected this winter."

The footballer added: "I'll be back at training in a couple of weeks in the New Year, so the last thing I want is to be struck down by flu when I'm just getting back into my football.

"I'd urge anyone who is pregnant to get vaccinated - it's not worth the risk of becoming ill with flu."

But most haven't bothered. The Scottish Government says just 45% of mums-to-be have got the jab so far this year, based on figures from GPs, though officials could not give a breakdown.

Mums-to-be run the risk of major complications if they are struck down by flu because the immune system changes during pregnancy.

Medics say the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and point to evidence which shows the vaccine can also help protect baby for the first three months after birth.

The latest figures show the worrying number of mums-to-be who haven't had the jab.

Gillian Smith, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "We would encourage midwives and pregnant women to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.

"Women should be aware of the importance of having the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as they become pregnant. If any pregnant woman is unsure about this, I would urge them to speak to their midwife or doctor."

Suzanne spoke out ­after figures released earlier this month revealed that the majority of pensioners in the Glasgow area and ­others with health ­problems had snubbed the offer of a free flu jab this winter.

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns urged them to come forward, especially pregnant women and people suffering from asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, MS and other heart, lung and liver problems as well as those with lowered immunity.


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