3rd October 2012 – Airedale Hospital launches flu jab campaign
Medical director Andrew Catto is urging all frontline staff at Airedale Hospital to protect their patients by having the flu jab as soon as possible.
Nurses from the hospital’s employee and health and wellbeing launched their campaign this week as they started to visit wards and departments to vaccinate staff – and spread the word about the importance of having the jab.
Andrew Catto, of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is vital that as many frontline workers as possible have the flu vaccine before the virus is circulating – especially as it takes ten to 14 days to reach protective levels.
“It takes just a few minutes to have the jab and this will not only provide protection for themselves throughout the winter season, but also stops them passing the bug on to vulnerable patients for whom flu could be life-threatening, their colleagues, friends and family.”
The vaccine is offered free to all those in at risk categories, and include:
- people over 65 years of age
- adults and children with: long term medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease; chronic heart, chest and liver disease; chronic neurological conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis; stroke; lowered immunity due to cancer or other causes
- pregnant women
For more information contact your GP or visit NHS Choices
The best way to avoid flu is to get immunised, but in addition, people can protect themselves by practicing 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 the hands as soon as possible with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.
Facts about flu:-
- Each year, between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from flu.
- Health professionals need to protect patients as they can carry and pass the virus on to others without having symptoms themselves.
- The vaccine has an excellent safety record. The risk of having a serious reaction to it is less than one in a million – much lower than the risk of being seriously ill from flu.
- A flu jab can’t give you the flu because the vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses.
- Any side effects of the flu vaccination are usually mild and often non-existent. Most common is soreness around the injection and occasionally aching muscles or a slightly raised temperature.
- Even if you had the jab last year, have it again otherwise You won’t be protected against the new strains of flu.
- Pregnant women can have the vaccination at any stage of their pregnancy.
- Anyone can get the flu – there’s no such thing as natural immunity to influenza.