PREGNANT women are being urged to have a free flu vaccination this winter.

GPs and some community pharmacies and maternity services’ scan clinics are offering the vaccine free of charge.

Oxford NHS worker Emma McEwan who is seven months pregnant, recently had the flu jab at her GP practice and is encouraging other pregnant women to get vaccinated.

She said: "The jab was painless and over in seconds. It doesn’t matter at what stage of the pregnancy you are at, even if you discover you are pregnant later on in the flu season – have the vaccination.

"It is safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women and actually passes some protection on to your baby in the first few months of life.”

Clinical locality director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, added: “It’s important for pregnant women to have the vaccine as pregnancy weakens the body’s immune system and can cause serious complications for the mother and baby.

"I urge all pregnant women to visit their GP practice to have the vaccination when contacted by their surgery.”

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