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Fighting flu

We are protecting our patients against flu this winter, as the seasonal staff flu immunisation programme gets underway.

Every year we organise a free flu immunisation programme for staff and encourage them to take part to reduce their risk of getting flu or passing it on.  

By giving our staff the vaccine, we want them to have the best protection available so they can’t carry the flu virus or pass it to each other or to vulnerable patients. 

Sickness absence is also kept as low as possible so during the busy winter period we are able to maintain our usual levels of service and provide the best care to our patients. 

I have been a peer vaccinator for the last two years and feel strongly that all staff should be protected thus protecting the patients and their own families. If you ever experience or see someone with flu you will realise the benefits of the vaccine. — Catherine Convery, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Simple steps to protect yourself from flu

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • Use anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues quickly
  • Maintain good hygiene in general
  • Clean surfaces such as your keyboard, phone and door handles regularly to get rid of germs

The single best way to protect yourself from catching and passing on the flu virus is to get a seasonal flu vaccine. 

Remember:

  • The vaccine cannot give you the flu as it contains none of the live virus. It is not possible for inactivated flu virus to establish infection.
  • The flu virus can be transmitted through droplet spread and aeroso spread when sneezing, coughing or talking.
  • You can carry the flu virus without realising

Some members of the public can get the flu vaccine free of charge:

  • pregnant woman
  • anyone with a long-term condition, including diabetes, asthma, kidney disease or heart and chest problems
  • people undergoing medical treatment who may have a compromised immune system
  • people with a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • everyone over the age of 65.

Speak to your local GP and make sure you are vaccinated against seasonal flu every year. If you were vaccinated last year, you won’t be protected against the new strains of flu circulating since then, so update your protection and get vaccinated again this year.

For more information about the flu vaccination, visit NHS Choices website here.

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