Having the flu and whooping cough jabs

Flu in pregnancy can have serious consequences for you and your baby. The flu jab is safe in pregnancy and dramatically cuts the chance you’ll get flu

Having flu while pregnant can be serious. It can lead to problems such as pneumonia, and it can be fatal for a small number of women. It can also lead to miscarriage or premature birth, and it has been linked to having a low-weight baby and stillbirth

The NHS recommend that having the free flu jab (vaccination) is the most effective way of protecting yourself and your baby from flu. It will also pass some protection to your baby that will last for the first few months of his or her life


Whooping cough is a very infectious illness that can be very serious for young babies. Getting vaccinated while you're pregnant is a safe way to protect your baby

Whooping cough can cause long bursts of coughing and choking making it hard to breathe. For newborns and young babies it can lead to pneumonia and brain damage, and in the worst cases it can lead to the baby dying. Around 300 babies are admitted to hospital every year with whooping cough

If you get vaccinated while you're pregnant, your body produces antibodies to whooping cough which are passed through the placenta to your baby. Your baby then has some protection against whooping cough when they're born

The best time to get vaccinated is from 16 weeks of pregnancy up to 32 weeks. But it can still help to get vaccinated after 32 weeks up until your labour, though it won't be as effective in protecting your baby

Cut your chances of getting flu

  • Have the free flu jab
  • You can safely have it at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards


Help protect your baby from whooping cough 

  • Have the free whooping cough jab, from 16 weeks of pregnancy onwards
  • The whooping cough jab is safe for you and your baby
This short film about immunisations during pregnancy was produced for Our Chance, a campaign by the charities Sands and Best Beginnings to raise awareness of health issues in pregnancy (it covers whooping cough as well as flu)
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