PREGNANT women are reluctant to get flu vaccinations with only 22% taking up the free jab, says new research.
Mothersafe, a free counselling service at Sydney's Royal Hospital for Women surveyed 320 pregnant women and found only 42% were advised by their GP to get a flu vaccination.
NSW Kids and Families senior clinical advisor obstetrics, Associate Professor Michael Nicholl said the flu vaccination can be safely given to women planning to have a baby or at any stage during pregnancy.
Prof Nicholl said even healthy women with an uncomplicated pregnancy can develop life-threatening flu.
"Having a vaccination during pregnancy has shown to benefit mum and baby, with protective antibodies being transferred from mum, protecting the baby for up to six months," he said.
Released yesterday, the influenza research comes a day after NSW parliament passed new laws concerning childcare centres and vaccination.
From January, centres can refuse to enrol a child if parents can't prove their child was vaccinated or that they have an approved exemption.
Childcare centres who fail to properly check vaccination records or exemptions can be fined.
Less than 50% of children under five in postcode 2482 (Mullumbimby and surrounds) were vaccinated, according to NSW Health.
Vaccination affects Centrelink as children must be fully immunised for parents to get Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement, Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate. They must be fully immunised in the financial years they turn one, two and five.
To receive payments, parents who haven't immunised their children must show an approved exemption or be on a recognised immunisation catch up schedule.
Payment rates for Family Tax Benefit, Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate are based on household income, number and ages of children.
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