The most up to date information on the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme 2022/2023 for Pregnant Women.

What is seasonal influenza (flu)? Flu is a very infectious illness caused by the influenza virus. The virus infects the airways and the lungs. Flu circulates in the community during the flu season. The flu season usually starts at the beginning of October and lasts until the end of April.

Can flu cause serious illness? Yes, flu can cause serious illness and can be life threatening for pregnant women. Complications of flu include pneumonia, bronchitis, and, on rare occasions, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
Flu infection during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and even stillbirth.

Why do I need to get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant during the flu season? As you are pregnant, you have a higher risk of severe complications if you get flu. The flu vaccine protects you against the flu during your pregnancy, and it will also provide protection to your new-born baby during their first few months of life. Babies under 6 months are the children most likely to be admitted to hospital if they get flu.

In the video below Dr Maeve Eogan, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Rotunda Hospital  shares why pregnant women should get the flu vaccine this flu season. Pregnant women can get the flu vaccine for free as part of the HSE vaccination programme from participating GPs and Pharmacies.

“If you are pregnant during flu season, getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect you and your baby”

Dr Maeve Eogan, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

It’s #YourBestShot for protecting you and your baby from flu. Visit www.hse.ie/flu for more information. #Vaccines4Pregnancy

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against 4 strains of flu virus. These are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season.

The four strains are:

  • an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus; and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

For more information on this year’s seasonal flu vaccine if you are pregnant you can click here and for information on the flu vaccine for young children ages 2 – 7 please read this HSE leaflet.