Devon and Cornwall flu jab uptake for pregnant women falls

The NHS has urged pregnant woman in the South West to have flu jabs after 72% failed to take them up last year.

NHS Cornwall said in 2010 41% of women had the jab which fell to 28% in 2011.

It said pregnant women were at higher risk of developing complications from flu, such as pneumonia and cardio-respiratory problems which could prove fatal.

NHS Devon said the number of women having the jab had reduced which was "not in their best interests".

'Fatal consequences'

Felicity Owen, director of public health for NHS Cornwall, said: "We are really concerned that pregnant women are choosing not to have the vaccine.

"We believe this may be due to unfounded concerns over its safety and would like to reassure them it is safe for them and their unborn baby and will protect them from the potentially fatal consequences."

Debbie Stark, from the NHS in Torbay, added: "We recommend that all pregnant women should have a flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy they are at."

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