10 October 2016
The flu vaccine is an important and easy way to stay well this winter.
You are eligible for a free flu vaccine if you are pregnant, aged 65 years or over, have a long term health condition, or are a carer. Children aged 2, 3 or 4 years are also eligible. You can get the flu vaccine at your local GP surgery or in select pharmacies.
Royal Free focus on flu
Every year, the flu vaccine is offered to NHS staff as a way to reduce the risk of staff contracting the virus and transmitting it to their family members as well as patients. Healthcare workers may transmit the illness to patients even if they are mildly or sub-clinically infected as flu is a highly transmissible infection.
As part of our efforts to ensure our staff stay well this winter, all staff are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccine from one of our 100 peer vaccinators, who are responsible for vaccinating staff in their clinical areas. The trust has a target of 75% of staff being vaccinated to ensure a healthy workforce during the winter flu season.
Did you know?
- Healthy diets and regular hand washing help reduce the spread of flu, but won't prevent you getting flu.
- You need the vaccine every year so that you are protected against new strains of flu.
- The vaccine is one of the safest in the world and it is impossible to get flu from having the flu jab!
- The patient population found in hospital is much more vulnerable to flu's severe effects. All staff should receive the free flu vaccine to keep healthy and to prevent transmission to other staff, their families, friends and our patients.
- It is estimated that up to one in four healthcare workers may become infected during a mild influenza season - a much higher incidence than expected in the general population.
- A flu vaccination is 60% effective depending on the age and health of the person receiving it and on how well the circulating influenza strains match the composition of the vaccine.
- Flu can cause a spectrum of illness ranging from mild to severe, even among people who were previously well.