Mums-to-be urged to get vaccine against swine flu as cases soar in East End

PREGNANT women are being urged to take the seasonal flu vaccine after an outbreak of swine flu in the East End.

NHS Tower Hamlets says that there has been a big increase in the number of cases of flu reported in the East End over recent weeks, some of which have been caused by the swine flu virus.

The health body said that while flu is a relatively mild illness for most people, it can be very serious for some, with pregnant women and people with a long-term health condition more at risk of becoming seriously ill.

This winter, the seasonal flu vaccine is being offered to all pregnant women, people under 65 with underling health conditions and all over 65 year-olds.

Dr Theodora Kalentzi, Deputy Medical Director NHS Tower Hamlets said: “It is only the beginning of the flu season and our local GPs tell us that they are seeing an increase in flu cases and flu related hospital admissions.

“Pregnant women are particularly at risk and the health risks posed by flu are far more serious for them. NHS Tower Hamlets urges pregnant women to contact their GP surgery and arrange to get the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible.

“The vaccine has been thoroughly tested and the evidence suggests that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and there is no evidence of this type of vaccine doing any harm at all during pregnancy.

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“This year the flu jab protects against three types of flu, including the type known as swine flu.”

GPs or midwives can offer advice on the vaccine to pregnant women.