More than half of pregnant women in the Solihull and Birmingham left themselves and their unborn child at risk of the flu last year, NHS figures have revealed.
Some 10,668 women did not get the flu jab, with just 41 per cent taking up the free vaccination.
Statistics from Public Health England reveal that pregnant women in Solihull and Birmingham did not protect themselves or their unborn baby from the dangers of flu last winter.
Flu can cause many complications during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages, such as premature births or low birth weights. In some cases it can lead to stillbirth.
This year the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is hoping more people will take up the offer.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, clinical lead for flu said: “I would urge anyone who is pregnant to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible.
“During pregnancy a woman’s immune system is naturally lower to ensure that the pregnancy is successful.
“As a result, pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus.
“The flu vaccination is the best protection against flu.
“It’s safe during any stage in pregnancy, from the first few weeks through to the woman’s due date and doesn’t carry any risks for mother or baby.
“Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
“Even if you’ve had the flu vaccination before it’s important to get it again because the type of virus in circulation changes every year, so the vaccine changes too.”
Pregnant women should contact their midwife, GP or speak to a pharmacist about the jab.