Health and care workers across Herefordshire are protecting patients and preparing for this winter’s flu season by getting the flu jab.
Nurses, doctors, district nurses, social workers, ambulance and mental health workers, are among more than 1,300 staff who’ve had this year’s flu vaccination so far, as part of the national NHS flu vaccination campaign.
A total of around 3,000 local NHS and social care staff from Wye Valley NHS Trust, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Herefordshire Council, and GP practices across the county, will be receiving their seasonal flu vaccinations in the next couple of weeks.
The launch of the campaign took place this month at Hereford County Hospital where vaccinators offered the flu jab to staff as they arrived at work. Vaccinations are also being offered at drop in clinics and on hospital wards.
Lucy Flanagan, director of nursing at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We’re working together across the health and care organisations in Herefordshire to encourage all of our staff, particularly frontline, to make sure they are vaccinated to protect themselves and reduce the risk of passing on the flu virus to their patients and families.
“It’s also important that people do not visit our hospital wards or clinical areas if they have symptoms of flu or feel unwell, because some of our patients are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch flu”.
Dr Ian Tait, GP and Clinical Chair for Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), added: "As a GP I ensure I am vaccinated each year to protect my patients and my loved ones.
“It’s so important for those of us working within health and care to protect ourselves as we can unknowingly pass on the virus to those who are vulnerable to the adverse effects of flu.
Flu can be a serious illness for some people, such as those with long term conditions, the elderly and pregnant women. It’s particularly important that people in at risk groups have the flu vaccine.
“Each winter hundreds of thousands of people across the country see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of influenza, which could be prevented by having the flu vaccine once a year.
“It is recommended that all health and care workers, those that care for others and those who are eligible, have the flu vaccine every year ahead of the flu season. This year’s vaccine covers four strains of flu, so it offers the best protection against the current circulating influenzas”.
All GP practices in the county are running flu clinics for their registered patients either as drop-in or by appointment. Flu jabs are also available at many local pharmacies.