Protecting your pēpi from flu starts during pregnancy - NIP8714

June 2023
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Information for hapū māmā about getting the flu vaccination during pregnancy.
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June 2023
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Protecting your pēpi from flu starts during pregnancy

If you get the flu during pregnancy, you’re more likely than other adults to have serious complications. Getting a flu jab gives you the best possible protection against flu. It can help reduce your risk of getting the flu, having serious complications, and needing treatment in hospital.

What’s the flu (influenza)?

The flu isn’t just a common cold. It can be serious and make some people very sick. If you get the flu when you’re hapū (pregnant) it’s a risk to your life and your unborn baby. Pregnant women who get the flu have higher rates of early birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and lower birth weight. Newborns and young infants are more likely to end up in hospital with the flu than older children, so the protection they receive from you in the womb could make all the difference.

How can I protect myself and my unborn baby from the flu?

Getting a flu jab will help protect you from catching the flu. Flu jabs are free if you’re hapū. Although having the vaccination doesn’t guarantee you won’t catch the flu, it will give you and your baby more protection if you do catch it. And you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine – the vaccine used in New Zealand doesn’t contain any live flu virus.

Is the flu jab safe for my unborn baby?

The flu jab has been used by pregnant women for many years and has an excellent safety rating. There’s no increased risk of side effects from the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant or for your unborn baby.

What side effects might I get after the flu jab?

Having side effects after your flu jab is a sign that your body’s immune system is working well. After your immunisation you might experience pain, itching, redness at the vaccination site, aches and pains, fever and feeling generally unwell and tired. Most side effects shouldn’t last long.

Can I get my flu jab and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, you can. If you are due a COVID-19 vaccine, or other vaccinations, you may be able to get your flu jab at the same time. Having all your immunisations provides the best possible protection for you and your unborn baby.

Where can I get my FREE flu jab?

You can get your free flu vaccine at your healthcare provider. Many pharmacies also offer the flu vaccine.

To book your flu jab visit

For more information about getting immunised against flu