Your Flu Jab is More Important than Ever this Year
This year, with the added risk of COVID-19 it’s more important than ever to get the flu jab and protect yourselves, your families and patients from getting the flu. That’s the key message being driven home by the health and social care service’s most senior clinicians to frontline healthcare workers this week. As the first vaccine deliveries begin to reach local employers, hospitals and other local NHS organisations across England will start running drop-in clinics and promotional activity in a bid to ensure that every single eligible member of staff is able to get the flu jab this year.
On average, flu kills over 11,000 people each year – some years this number is much higher – and it hospitalises many more. Healthcare workers are at an increased risk of contracting flu and it’s very easy to pass on the virus without knowing. For those patients who are most vulnerable including young children, pregnant women and the elderly flu can have serious and even fatal consequences which is why vaccination of healthcare workers is a critical part of the NHS’s flu prevention strategy. Research suggests that a 10% increase in NHS staff vaccination reduces healthcare worker sickness absence by about 10%.
Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Suzanne Rastrick said: “Each year we ask our colleagues to protect themselves, their families and their patients by taking up the free flu jab, and every year more and more do - but this year, with the added risk of COVID-19, the call is more important than ever.
“If you’re a frontline health or care professional, getting your flu jab is the most effective way to protect yourself and those you care for from what can be a serious and even fatal illness’’.