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Maternity colleges urge pregnant women to get the flu and Covid vaccines this winter 

Maternity Colleges are urging pregnant women to have the flu and Covid-19 vaccines this winter.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) say both vaccines are needed to protect women and their babies.

Flu can be very serious for a small number of pregnant women and their babies, occasionally leading to stillbirth, maternal death and miscarriage.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) say both vaccines are needed to protect women and their babies

The colleges warn it is possible to be infected with flu and Covid at the same time and this could make pregnant women seriously ill.

Dr Edward Morris, president of the RCOG, said: ‘We are concerned as we enter the winter months when viruses are particularly rife that pregnant women may be vulnerable to both COVID-19 and the flu.

‘We know the flu and COVID-19 can both individually cause severe illness in pregnancy and that’s why it is vital pregnant women have both vaccines, along with the third dose booster vaccine if they are eligible for it.

Flu can be very serious for a small number of pregnant women and their babies, occasionally leading to stillbirth, maternal death and miscarriage

‘We want to reassure women that the vaccines are both safe in pregnancy and they are the best way of protecting women and their babies from becoming severely ill with COVID-19 and flu.’  

Gill Walton, chief executive of the RCM, warned having Covid during pregnancy can have ‘serious consequences’ for both mothers and their babies.

She said: ‘It can double the chance of stillbirth and triples the chance of a pre-term birth, which can have long term health impacts for the baby.'

‘Covid vaccines are recommended at any stage of pregnancy.’