Pregnant women offered flu jab

The UK's department of Health is to offer the seasonal flu vaccine to all pregnant women for the first time because they are 'at increased risk of severe disease and flu-related hospital admissions'.

 

- Why is this happening?

Everyone aged 65 and over is routinely offered the jab, as well as younger people with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, kidney and liver disease. This year the vaccination is being offered to pregnant women because of the prevalence of the swine flu virus.

- What do the experts say?

Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the DH, said: 'This year, the swine flu virus will be one of the most common types of flu. The vaccine will protect against three types of flu, including swine flu. As this virus can pose additional risks to pregnant women, we are recommending this year that all pregnant women are vaccinated.'

- Comms tactics

PR for the rollout of the flu vaccination has yet to be confirmed, but will be handled in-house by the DH.

- Media coverage

The story garnered coverage across most major national news sources, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and specialist trade titles Nursing Times, Pulse magazine and Pharmacy Europe. The Daily Telegraph ran with the headline 'Pregnant women to be vaccinated against flu for first time', while the Daily Mail went with 'Swine flu jab to be offered to pregnant women'.

15m - People in England and Wales vaccinated each winter

£100m - The cost of each winter's vaccination programme

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