Health and social care senior clinicians and leaders are urging their frontline colleagues to get their annual flu jab as soon as possible, as the first vaccine deliveries start to reach local employers this week.
This comes alongside an expanded flu vaccination programme for both the public and frontline health and social care workers, with a record 30 million people eligible for a free vaccine this year.
Frontline staff are at higher risk of catching flu due to their contact with patients and those they care for.
With the first batches of this year’s vaccines arriving from this week, hospitals and other local NHS organisations across England will run drop-in clinics and promotional activity with the aim of ensuring that every eligible member of staff is able to get it this year.
The offer has also been expanded to include frontline social care workers, those who are all eligible will be able to get the free flu vaccination from a GP or pharmacy.
Pharmacists are also able to deliver the vaccination to residential care staff where they work to make it easier than ever for them to get their jab.
An NHS spokesman said this approach means all frontline social care workers are able to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves, their patients and the people they care for, including personal assistants for the first time this year.
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England said: ‘Every year we urge 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’s call is the most vital we have ever made.
‘The flu has a serious impact on the health of thousands of people every winter, and with the added risk of COVID-19 this year the NHS needs as many of its staff as possible to be fighting fit over the coming months.
‘And even more importantly, just as we are making every effort to stop the spread of coronavirus in our hospitals, so we must also do the same for flu. Getting a vaccine is the single most effective way every member of our staff can contribute to this.’
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