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Babies 'protected by flu vaccine'

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Flu vaccine experts have claimed that babies whose mothers are given the jab in pregnancy are less likely to catch the virus themselves.

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Research from the US concluded that infants are offered protection by the jab during the first six months of their life and are also less likely to require hospital treatment for respiratory illnesses.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, said: “Influenza virus infection in infants is generally more frequent among those aged six to 12 months than in the first six months of life, potentially owing to the protection conferred by maternal influenza antibodies acquired transplacentally or through breastfeeding.”

Pregnant women across the UK have been urged by the government to get a flu vaccine this winter - the jab has been made available through GPs and protects against the dominant swine flu virus, which is still circulating.

Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from swine flu compared to the general public, research has shown.


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