Quality Care - everyone, everytime
 
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Over 1,300 NHS staff vaccinated against flu
16 November 2017

This year’s staff flu vaccinations are well underway with all staff at Isle of Wight NHS Trust sites being offered flu jabs as winter approaches. 

The Trust’s Occupational Health team, together with staff who have volunteered to become flu vaccinators, have so far vaccinated over 1,300 staff members since the beginning of October and plans are in place to give the jab to as many of the Trust's employees as possible, especially frontline healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients. 

Regular drop in clinics are being held and visits to busy wards and departments are taking place to make the flu jab as accessible as possible to all NHS staff. 

Dr Barbara Stuttle, Interim Chief Nurse and one of this year’s flu vaccinators, said: “As healthcare professionals it is part of our duty of care to our patients to protect them against infection, such as flu, which can be very serious. We know that flu can kill and we also know that 70% of people with flu have no symptoms at all and could be spreading it to others who are vulnerable. So as we approach the busiest time of the year for health services on the Island it is vital that we protect ourselves and those we care for by getting a flu jab.” 

Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus, particularly during winter months when some of their patients will be infected.  Typically the elderly, the very young, and people with underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk of suffering severe illness. However, healthy people can develop severe complications from influenza. Public Health England estimated that an average 8,000 people die from flu in England each year. Some years that figure could go beyond 14,000. 

Dispelling some of the myths around flu continues to be important messages for all staff. Facts such as the flu jab cannot give you flu as it is not a live virus, how it is necessary to have a jab every year and even if you’ve never had flu and think your immune system is good without it, you are still at risk of getting the virus and passing it on to others. 

More information on flu vaccination can be found at www.staywell.nhs.uk

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