Vaccinations in Maternity Services in the South West

If there are any questions regarding the programme please direct them to


Why are vaccinations being offered through maternity services?

Historically the uptake of flu and pertussis vaccination in pregnant women has been low. In 2016/17 less than 45% of pregnant women were vaccinated against flu. Due to the significant risk posed to pregnant women and their unborn child if they contract influenza the need to increase uptake in this group has been highlighted nationally. Offering flu vaccination through maternity services increases patient choice and decreases the need for additional appointments in order to access vaccination services. The offer of vaccination service through maternity providers is increasingly a national expectation as set out in the letter attached below.



Maternity service model

Because maternity services across the South West vary in size and delivery model they are rolling out this programme in different ways. Generally they are prioritising making an offer at antenatal scan appointments initially because this is well attended by the majority of pregnant women. This service should be viewed as an additional offer of vaccination with the intention of increasing access and uptake, particularly targeting harder to reach women, as opposed to a replacement for the existing service offered by practices. All maternity providers in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are intending to provide a service this year.


The role of General Practice in offering vaccination to pregnant women

The offer of a vaccination through maternity services increases patient choice and does not change the requirements of the enhanced services for the seasonal influenza or pertussis (pregnant women) vaccination programmes. Therefore all pregnant women should still be invited and may choose to receive the service via their GP practice. Maternity services will continue to signpost women to their practice if they have not been able to offer a vaccination or if any woman indicates that would be her preferred provider.


Data recording

When a maternity provider vaccinates a pregnant woman they are, as a minimum, required to send the following information to the practice where the woman is registered within seven days:

  • the patient’s name, address, date of birth and NHS number
  • the date of the administration of the vaccine
  • the applicable Read V2, CTV3 or SNOMED CT code
  • any adverse reaction to the vaccination and action taken/recommended to manage the adverse reaction
  • reason for patient being identified as eligible for vaccination


Practices should enter this information on to their clinical system in order to reduce the risk of double vaccination. Providers are being encouraged collaborate with local practices to maximise the use of electronic and automated methods of updating the GP clinical record.


 If there are any further questions regarding the programme please direct them to

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