Health and social care organisations are under greater pressure to ensure that their staff are vaccinated against the Flu ahead of this year’s winter – a time which always places greater strain on healthcare systems.
All NHS organisations provide their staff with the vaccine; aiming to minimise the risk of spreading the seasonal flu virus to patients.
Paula Jackson, Consultant in Public Health, from the local office of NHS England said:
“As health and social care professionals, we have a responsibility to the patients we care for. The impact of the virus on frail and vulnerable patients can be serious, even fatal, and outbreaks can cause severe disruption in communities, care homes and hospitals. It’s vital that we all protect ourselves against infection; helping to reduce the spread of further infection to vulnerable patients who are more at risk of developing further serious complications from infection.”
Healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus, particularly during winter months. It has been estimated that up to one in four healthcare workers may become infected with influenza during a mild influenza season – a much higher incidence than expected in the general population.
This year, health and social care workers who work with already vulnerable patients in hospice and residential nursing home settings are all being urged to have the flu vaccination as soon as possible,
Typically the elderly, the very young, and people with underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk of suffering severe illness. However, even previously healthy people and the young can develop severe complications from influenza including bronchitis and pneumonia.
- During the 2017/18 flu season 69% of NHS healthcare workers received the flu vaccine, 5% more than the previous year
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