PREGNANT women or those planning to get pregnant soon have been urged to get their coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.

After a number of tragic deaths in Greater Manchester of expectant mothers and their babies, public health officials are concerned.

At a public engagement board meeting on Wednesday, Trafford’s Director of Public Health Eleanor Roaf said: “We've got quite low uptake rates in some areas for pregnant women.

“If you're pregnant we would strongly advise you take the vaccine, it's very safe and we've seen tragically there have been, across Greater Manchester, deaths of mothers and babies.

“Covid is a very, very dangerous disease in the third trimester. So if you’re thinking of having a baby or if you're pregnant please do get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

For other population groups, public health officials are still waiting on national guidance regarding the rollout of the jab to healthy 12 and 15 year olds, which the national Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has not yet recommended.

There is already a programme in place for children in that age group who have underlying health conditions and they should get vaccinated now, Ms Roaf advised.

All 16 to 17 year olds can now get vaccinated too.

Ms Roaf added officials are also still waiting on national guidance regarding the booster vaccination programme and who will be eligible for booster jabs this autumn.

Originally the plan had been for the booster programme to begin in September and pharmacies and GPs across Trafford were primed and ready to go with the rollout.

Flu vaccinations have already started to be rolled out across the borough and if you are eligible for it, Ms Roaf advised strongly to take it up.

She said: “If you’re invited for the flu jab, please go and get your flu jab as soon as you can, don’t wait to see if you could get the two [coronavirus and flu] at the same time because that may or may not happen.

“We’re strongly reminding people that flu is also a very nasty illness and the social distancing last year was so good that nobody got flu.

“We’ve had two years of nobody having flu so our natural immunity will be waning there. So please do go and get that flu jab as soon as you can.”