GP’s in the Dorset area warn of a drop in the number of pregnant women, taking the flu vaccine this winter. They are urging the mothers-to-be to make an appointment for the jab.
Dr Liz Mearns, Medical Director based in NHS England’s Southampton office said: “It’s important that all pregnant women protect themselves and their unborn baby by having the vaccination. Flu is a serious risk to both the mother and unborn baby. Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications from flu. The vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy and is safe for mother and baby.”
However it could be the old worry, of vaccines causing problems to unborn babies, that could be the reason why some women haven’t taken to the jab.
The Arnica Network
The Arnica Network is a group that was created by parents concerned about the vaccination programme. It was formed in 2007 and now has local groups in areas all over the UK, including Bournemouth.
They believe in the importance of natural immunity, which includes taking vitamins D during the winter months to fight against the flu.
Anna Watson, 52, is the founder of the group and a mother of two. She began forming Arnica when she was worried about the amounts of vaccinations used in the first year of life.
Arnica have 100 groups all over England and some abroad, as well as a Facebook group which has 30,000 followers.
The majority of parents do feel safe with taking the vaccinations but there are some that do not.
Anna said: “Pregnant women are more cautious about injecting ingredients like foetal cells, to an unborn child.
“There are a lot of issues around whether it is safe to give vaccinations to pregnant women.”
An article by the Independent has caused worry, according to Anna. It was published last September and talked about a possible link between miscarriages and vaccinations.
The founder of Arnica prefers to stay well away from any kind of vaccine, as some can contain animal and human cell lines as well as small amounts of aluminium.
According to Anna:
“The only thing that you might be able to do to reduce incidents of all respiratory infections including flu, colds and pneumonia, is vitamin D supplementation.”
It is heavily advised by the NHS to take the flu vaccines, and that it is safe to do so at any stage of the pregnancy.