Influenza can be serious for pregnant women and their baby. Flu shots are
free for all pregnant women. Book an appointment for a flu shot with your doctor, pharmacist or Aboriginal Medical Service as soon as possible. Some providers may charge an administration or consultation fee. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this applies to you.
People such as family members who regularly come in contact with pregnant women are recommended to also get a flu shot. This will help protect pregnant women as they are higher risk of serious flu and its complications.
To protect yourself and others from flu, you can do the following:
It is important to protect yourself from getting influenza if you are pregnant. Even if you are generally healthy, changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy increase your risk of severe illness if you get influenza.
If you have flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, body aches, headache and fatigue), even if you have already had a flu shot, call your doctor or maternity care provider right away. Doctors can advise on appropriate treatments for influenza that are safe to use even during pregnancy.
The influenza vaccine is safe for both you and your baby when given during pregnancy or when you are planning pregnancy. There is no evidence of any increased risks to women or their babies when the woman is given an influenza vaccine during pregnancy.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) strongly recommends influenza vaccination for pregnant women to protect both the mother and the baby.
If you are at any stage of pregnancy you are eligible for a free influenza vaccine under the National Immunisation Program.
If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, speak with your doctor or maternity care provider about the best time for you to get your influenza vaccination. Women should be vaccinated against influenza each time they are pregnant.
HealthDirect can also provide practical health information and advice on 1800 022 222.