Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The importance of the flu jab

Please read this important 'guest' blog from our Medical Director Dr Henry Ticehurst.

As Medical Director for the Trust, I want to reinforce why it is vital for every member of staff to have the flu vaccine.

I had my flu vaccination on October 13. If you haven’t had it yet, this is a message from me to ask you to do so.

The rationale for the vaccination is clear and it has a strong evidence base.

Influenza is a nasty illness and, for normally healthy people, it can confine you to bed for some time. This in itself has massive potential effects on the services we run – we all know it doesn’t take too many colleagues to go off sick before we get in to some real difficulties.  But for those we treat - especially those with long-term conditions, the frail elderly and the young - it can be fatal.

We have a target of 75 per cent staff take-up. This is a national target and, again, it is not an arbitrary target.  It is set to afford our community maximum protection to ensure any spread is contained. So I am asking you to please be one of those 75 per cent.

You have all received details of vaccination sessions in your borough, along with instructions on how to let us know if you receive your vaccinations elsewhere.  

I know you are very busy but I’d urge you to have your flu jab to keep yourself, the people you work with and our service users in the best of health this flu season.

Staff can find more information about the flu campaign, including a list of sessions and a consent form on the intranet here.

So, to summarise, did I have severe side effects? Well, no, because you can’t get flu from the vaccine. A few snuffles, but to be honest I’ve had worse man-flu!
I hope Henry's note will prompt you to get your flu jab if you haven't yet. If you have, thank you, it really does make a difference. And don't forget if you're like me, with a son with asthma and elderly parents, it protects your family too. 

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