Low take-up of flu vac­cine from health work­ers

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

Less than half of NHS La­nark­shire staff have had their flu vac­ci­na­tion.

Health board staff are be­ing urged to get the jab to en­sure they’re ready to fight flu ahead of win­ter hit­ting.

Work­ers, es­pe­cially those who have con­tact with pa­tients, can play a vi­tal role in lim­it­ing the spread of the virus by get­ting vac­ci­nated early.

Cur­rently 42.4 per cent of staff have had the vac­cine, against a na­tional tar­get of 60 per cent.

Dr David Cromie, con­sul­tant in pub­lic health medicine, said:“We ad­vise our pa­tients that the best way to pro­tect them is the flu vac­cine and it’s no dif­fer­ent for health­care staff.

“As health­care work­ers, we have a duty to en­sure those in our care are safe and pro­tected, as statis­tics show pa­tients with health con­di­tions are 18 times more likely to die from flu than those who are healthy.

“This year’s vac­cine is the best de­fence against flu, help­ing pro­vide pro­tec­tion from flu for around a year, ben­e­fit­ing the staff mem­ber, their pa­tients and their fam­ily.

“It’s im­por­tant to get the vac­cine each year as the flu virus changes, and im­mu­nity re­duces over time.

“I would en­cour­age all NHS La­nark­shire staff to take up the of­fer of the vac­cine.”

Dr Com­rie added:“We have a duty to en­sure those in our care are safe and pro­tected.

“Pa­tients are likely to be par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to com­pli­ca­tions if they get flu.

“By get­ting the flu vac­cine, and en­cour­ag­ing el­i­gi­ble pa­tients to do the same, staff can make NHS La­nark­shire more re­silient.”

The vac­cine be­ing of­fered this year will pro­tect against four strains of flu.

Staff can get the vac­cine by at­tend­ing one of the drop-in vac­ci­na­tion clin­ics or ar­rang­ing a mu­tu­ally con­ve­nient time with a peer im­mu­niser.

Pro­tected But un­der half of NHS have had flu jab

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