BARNSLEY'S pregnant women have been urged to put the flu jab at the top of their to-do list.

A new report has revealed that 36 women have died from flu over the last three years in England.

By taking up the offer of a free flu jab, the antibodies from the vaccine help to prevent serious infection from flu for the baby in first few weeks of life.

But as always the earlier pregnant women have the vaccine, the longer they will be protected over the winter months.

Fiona Jorden, public health consultant at NHS England, said: "It's concerning that only 44 per cent of pregnant women have taken up the offer of the flu vaccination since the 2014 flu season began.

"Research shows that the jab is safe for mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy. The earlier you have the vaccine the better as it means you will be protected for the whole winter.

"GPs and pharmacies have been offering the flu vaccination from the beginning of October 2014 and it's vital that all pregnant women do it."