The College of Paramedics calls on all paramedics and paramedic students to get your flu vaccine this year. All frontline healthcare staff should get the vaccine because it is one of the safest and easiest ways of protecting yourself, your family and your patients. As we know Flu is a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread quickly, particularly amongst the most vulnerable of our society. Therefore, it is vital that as a whole profession we are as prepared as possible to minimise the transmission of the flu virus. Record numbers of people in England (25 million) will be offered a flu vaccine this winter and for the first time, all primary school children will be offered the nasal spray.
The following people are eligible for an NHS flu vaccine, do encourage family members and patients to have their vaccinations.
a. all children aged two to ten (primary school children would have it in school while pre-school children should contact own GP/ pharmacy)
b. those in clinical risk groups and aged between six months to 65 years
c. pregnant women
d. those aged 65 years and above
e. those in long stay residential care home
f. carer (generally through the local authorities and they should check locally)
g. close contacts of immunocompromised individuals (via own GP)
Flu vaccination is the single best defence against the spread of flu and 71% of frontline workers took up their workplace vaccine last year. Physical activity, eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting enough sleep will help keep you physically fit and mentally well, reducing the risk of illness. As well as getting the vaccine, practising good hand hygiene and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue can help limit the spread of flu – catch it, bin it, kill it.