Special vaccination teams are attending ante-natal clinics at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals so pregnant woman can get their winter jabs. They are offering inoculations against flu, coronavirus and whooping cough.
The East Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of five trusts in the North-West taking part in a pilot project to make it easier for pregnant women to get jabs to keep them and their babies safe. The Maternal Flu and Pertussis Pharmacy Scheme is being trialled by NHS England North West and involves sending vaccine provider Broadway Pharmacy into NHS Trusts to run drop-in vaccine clinics alongside antenatal services.
The immune system is weaker during pregnancy which makes it harder to fight off infections. Across the North-West, there has been a significant drop in the number of pregnant women taking up the offer of the vaccinations.
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The Royal Blackburn Hospital ante-natal clinic is offering the jabs on Mondays and Fridays while its counterpart at Burnley General Hospital is providing vaccinations on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The pilot will run until March 31.
Tricia Spedding, head of public health for NHS England in the North-West said: “This pilot is really exciting, and I’m glad that the women of the North West are the first to experience the convenience of it. Mums-to-be can often end up attending so many appointments during their pregnancy, so being able to get all three vaccines at one appointment, at a time to suit you, whilst attending the antenatal clinic is a great way to make things easier.
“Flu, whooping cough and COVID-19 are unpleasant in any case, but can be dangerous for pregnant women and their babies, so having the vaccines as soon as possible is so important.”