Health and care staff urged to get vaccinted to protect themselves and their patients

People working in frontline health and care jobs in the South West are being urged to have the COVID-19 autumn booster and flu vaccination as soon as possible, to protect themselves and the people they care for, before winter takes hold.

This year, all frontline social care workers are being offered the free flu and COVID-19 vaccines as part of the winter vaccine programme. Flu and COVID-19 are very infectious respiratory viruses which can be serious, even if you’re healthy.

Dr Julie Yates, Lead consultant for Screening and Immunisations for NHS England – South West said: “Having both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines will help reduce the chance of you spreading COVID-19 and flu to other people who may be at more risk of serious problems from the viruses. The flu vaccine can also help lessen the symptoms of flu, should you contract the virus.”

The South West region is also seeing a rise in the number of people requiring hospital admissions and an increase in the number of colleagues absent from work due to COVID-19.

Dr Michael Marsh, Medical Director for NHS England – South West said: “We are asking all health and care staff to get vaccinated with their flu and COVID-19 autumn booster this winter to ensure they keep themselves and their patients safe and well”

“Flu and COVID-19 spread easily, even from people who show no symptoms, and with new COVID-19 variants developing on a regular basis, the best way to protect yourself and others around you is by getting the flu and the COVID-19 booster vaccinations.”

As protection reduces over time, it’s important to have the vaccines when you’re offered them.

Frontline social care workers should book an appointment when offered it by their employer, or they can find a walk in clinic or book online on the National Booking System.