Staff encouraged to get flu vaccination
Healthcare workers are being encouraged to get vaccinated to ensure they do not catch the flu or pass it on to patients.
Flu jab uptake by hospital staff in the North East and North Cumbria was just above the national average last year, with 69 per cent of staff being vaccinated compared to 68 per cent nationally.
Patients can become seriously ill if they contract flu and healthcare workers are more likely to catch it through exposure to patients who have it.
Glen Wilson, screening and immunisation lead for NHS England in the North East and North Cumbria, said: “It is vital that frontline staff see their occupational advisor and get vaccinated to prevent the spread of flu.
“We’ve done well in the region in previous years, potentially preventing thousands of people from getting the flu.
“As well as limiting the spread, being vaccinated gives everyone the best chance of avoiding flu.
“Members of the public can make an appointment to get the vaccine at their GP practice or local pharmacy.”
Public Health England estimates that an average of 8,000 people die from flu in England each year. Last year, that figure was 15,969. The new flu vaccine could prevent 700 deaths, more than 2,000 hospitalisations and 30,000 GP consultations in those aged 65 and over in England this winter.
More than 700,000 frontline healthcare workers in the NHS had the vaccine last year.
All frontline health and social care staff are eligible for the flu vaccine. It is the responsibility of their employer to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
People who are over 65, are pregnant, have certain medical conditions, are living in a care home or receive a carer’s allowance will receive a letter inviting them to an appointment for a free flu jab.
Members of the public can find out more about getting vaccinated by speaking to their GP or local pharmacist, or visiting nhs.uk/fluvaccine