Director of nursing, Rob Dearden and medical director, Andrew Catto, are urging all frontline staff at Airedale Hospital to protect themselves and their patients by having their free flu jab as soon as possible.
Employee health and well-being staff have launched their annual campaign and will be visiting wards and departments to vaccinate staff and spread the word about how important the flu jab is.
Rob Dearden, director of nursing, at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would like our staff, who come into contact with patients, to have the flu vaccine as soon as possible before the virus is circulating – especially as it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.”
Andrew Catto, medical director said: “Staff vaccinations can almost eliminate the risk of flu spreading from staff to colleagues, their families and their patients, for whom flu can be fatal in some cases.”
Last year 56 per cent of frontline staff took up the offer of the free flu vaccination, which was above the national average. However, employee health and well-being and the Trust need and expect the percentage to be much higher this year.
FACTS ABOUT FLU
• Flu kills – each year between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths are caused by flu.
• The vaccine is one of the safest in the world.
• The flu jab can’t give you the flu because the vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses.
• Health professionals need to protect patients and colleagues because they can pass the virus to others without having any symptoms themselves.
• You need the vaccine every year; last year’s vaccination won’t protect you this year.
The best way to avoid flu is to get immunised, but in addition, people can protect themselves by practising good hand hygiene with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique. This means covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use and cleaning hands as soon as possible.