PREGNANT women across Hampshire are being urged to take the free flu and Covid-19 vaccinations.

The NHS in Hampshire and Isle of Wight is urging pregnant women to continue using health services and get the COVID-19 and flu jabs to help protect themselves and their unborn baby.

One of the best things a pregnant woman can do to protect themselves and their baby is to have the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.

Having the vaccinations at any stage of pregnancy protects women and also gives newborn babies vital protection in the first few months of their lives.

Dr Nicola Decker, Clinical Leader at the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG said: “I encourage all pregnant women to get their vaccinations.

“Getting flu during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, having a baby born too soon or born with a low birth weight. By having your free flu vaccination, either during an appointment with your midwife or at your GP practice reduces this risk.

“It also provides protection for your baby once they are born. It’s safe to have at any stage in your pregnancy and we would encourage you to take up the offer.”

Josie Greenen, a project manager, on the Isle of Wight, is seven months pregnant and has had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

She said: “Having and carrying a child is a big responsibility and naturally I understand why women may be hesitant to have the COVID-19 vaccination, as they want to ensure they are doing the best by themselves and by extension their baby.

“However we know the risk of not having the vaccine, catching COVID-19 and the complications that arise from it, far outweighs any doubts about having the vaccination.

“Having the vaccination, like having the flu jab, is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your unborn baby.”