6 October 2016 – Airedale Hospital launches flu fighters campaign
A campaign has been launched at Airedale Hospital this week asking staff to have their flu jab to protect vulnerable patients, their families and colleagues this winter.
The employee health and wellbeing team has staff has set up drop-in clinics, running from now until December, and will be visiting wards to make it as easy as possible for front-line health workers to get their vital annual flu jab in support of the national wider NHS Flu Fighter campaign.
For the first time this year, a number of nurses and midwives have been trained to become peer vaccinators and protect their colleagues. They have taken part in a training course so that even more staff will be able to get their vaccine quickly.
Karl Mainprize, medical director at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Flu isn’t just a bad cold, it is a contagious and potentially serious illness especially for elderly people and those with long-term illness.
“It is vital that as many of our staff are vaccinated as possible as they can carry and pass the virus on to others without having any symptoms. Even though they may consider themselves healthy, they may be putting the lives of others at risk.
“A few people do have mild side effects after having the jab such as aching muscles, but this is simply the immune system responding to the vaccine and these symptoms are much less serious than having flu.”
Jo Newman, matron in children’s services, said: “Having the vaccination is the best way to protect everybody – friends, family, my team, and my patients. It is a small thing to do every year which can be a big to help to keeping people healthy.”
One aim of the Flu Fighters campaign is to disband some of the myths about the jab. For example, some people believe that it is possible to contract flu from having the jab – but this isn’t true because the vaccination doesn’t contain any live viruses. They may also believe that the vaccine isn’t safe, or is ineffective because the flu virus is always changing. The reality is the vaccine is well-tested, and has an excellent safety record and is developed every year to provide best coverage against the changing mutations of the flu virus.
For advice and information about the flu vaccination, speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.
For more information on seasonal flu or vaccinations visit NHS Choices: