With people all over Milton Keynes sniffing and sneezing, local health chiefs are urging every pregnant woman to have a free flu vaccine.
Research shows expectant mums can be at risk if they catch flu and, in very rare cases, the virus can be fatal.
Dr Nicola Smith, the GP who chairs Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, said the vaccine gives protection not only to the mother but also the unborn child for the first few months of life.
She said; “It’s a health priority to make groups that are at risk aware of the importance of getting the flu jab and this is especially the case for pregnant women to protect themselves and their unborn baby.
“Health complications are rare but preventable.”
A new report released by MBRRACE-UK reveals the flu virus caused the death of 36 pregnant women nationally between 2009 and 2012.
This represented one in 11 maternal deaths over this period.
The vaccine is a “quick and safe” injection into the upper arm, said Dr Smith, who practices at Bletchley.
She is asking all pregnant women to book an appointment for the vaccine with their own GP practice.
“It’s free and it’s not too late to get it this winter,” she said.
For more information about the CCG and its policy on free flu jabs for the pregnant, elderly or vulnerable visit the website wwww.miltonkeynesccg.nhs/flu.