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Flu Vaccination programme for ALL staff

23rd September 2020

This year more than ever, the Trust is urging ALL staff to get their seasonal flu vaccine to protect their families, themselves and the vulnerable patients in their care.

From Monday 28 September 2020 Trust staff can get their free Flu Vaccination from one of the following:

·  Staff Flu Vaccination Clinics
For information you may also contact the Occupational Health Team on Tel: 028 3756 4800

·  Peer Vaccinators  in Wards/Departments

·  One of the Participating Community Pharmacies (For all staff including those working from home and those working in the Independent Sector – Read more ).

·  Your GP (If you receive the flu vaccine from your GP email and include: 1. Full name 2. Date you received the vaccine 3. Date of Birth or Staff Number).

Remember to wear a mask (not a face covering) when attending for your vaccination.

Dr Angel Boulos, Consultant Microbiologist in the Trust said: “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of ensuring staff have the best protection against disease. While at present there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, there is a vaccine that can help protect staff against Seasonal Flu.

“Early evidence suggests that death is twice as likely with co-infection of Flu and COVID-19 compared to COVID-19 alone. Frontline Health and Social Care Workers are four times more likely to come into contact with the Flu virus than the general population.

“Flu season usually starts each year in October and can last right through until April. It is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and occasionally gastrointestinal symptoms and central nervous system involvement. Because flu is a virus, antibiotics won’t help.”

“As the strain of Flu circulating changes each year, it is important to get vaccinated annually to help your body make antibodies. The Flu jab is NOT a live vaccine so it cannot give you the flu! This jab is given to millions of people every year and the side effects are rare.  For most the worst effects they can expect are mild tenderness at the injection site or chills which would be mild in comparison to symptoms of flu itself.”

“When the flu virus is circulating in the community, outbreaks can arise in our hospitals, affecting both staff and patients. While Flu is normally not as devastating as COVID-19, it can still lead to serious complications for some people, including those with no underlying medical conditions.”

For more information on the staff flu immunisation programme visit Public Health Agency