PREGNANT women in West Devon are being urged to get a flu jab or Covid-19 to protect themselves in the winter months ahead.

The NHS says that flu and Covid-19 can cause complications during pregnancy that could harm you and your baby.

It is also recommended that you have a Covid-19 booster vaccination if it is more than three months since your last dose.

Charlotte Wilton, head of midwifery and nursing for Children’s Services at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said: ‘You’re being offered the Covid-19 and flu vaccine to protect yourself and your baby.

‘The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice is that you are far more likely to get severe Covid-19 infection, if you contract the disease. Therefore it is really important that you are vaccinated to try to prevent admission to hospital or intensive care support being required.In the UK to date over 250,000 vaccines have been given in pregnancy.’

One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. Getting flu while pregnant could also cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birthweight and may increase the need for admission to intensive care for both you and your baby.

Studies of those who are pregnant admitted to hospital with Covid-19 show there is higher risk of admission to intensive care, high blood pressure due to pre-eclampsia and premature or stillbirth.

You can book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment online, or find a walk in clinic, call 119 or speak to your general practice team, midwife or pharmacist about other ways to get your vaccine.

Any adult who is eligible can look online to find a nearby pharmacy offering the NHS flu vaccine.