Flu vaccines can save lives

It is not just the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness; it also the season of coughs and colds and the dangerous flu virus. Doctors surgeries have leaflets, and reminder notices are sent to the elderly, the very young and those who are most at risk.

Although the uptake on the Island is marginally higher than Hampshire it is still below the national target. It is very important for pregnant women to get the vaccine because flu can cause serious problems to both the mother and the unborn child, in cases causing still births, reduced birth weight and premature births.

There may be some mild side effects but these are greatly outweighed by the risk of catching influenza unprotected. Possibly some mothers may be concerned about giving flu to their baby but the vaccine is not the live virus and can be given when breast feeding or at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine.