Somerset’s health workers urged to get Flu jab
Somerset’s health and social care service workersare urged to get their annual flu jab as soon as possible. The first vaccine deliveries start to reach local employers this week. This year, with the pandemic in the background, an expanded flu vaccination programme has been prepared. Between the public and frontline health and social care workers, a record 30 million people are eligible for a free vaccine.
Frontline staff are at higher risk of catching flu due to their contact with patients and those they care for. And with the possibility of a spike in COVID 19 infections, the NHS needs to keep staff well and fit to work. Research suggests that a 10% increase in NHS staff vaccination reduces healthcare worker sickness absence by about 10%. Hospitals and other local NHS organisations across England will be starting to run drop-in clinics. There will be a big campaign to ensure that every single eligible member of staff is able to get it this year.
There is also an expanded offer this year for frontline social care workers who are all eligible to get a free flu vaccination from a GP or pharmacy. Pharmacists are able to deliver the vaccination to residential care staff where they work to make it easier than ever for them to get their jab.
This approach means all frontline social care workers are able to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves, their patients and the people they care for including personal assistants for the first time this year.
Musgrove Hospital in Taunton confirmed that the flu vaccine would be offered to all staff across Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. that is both at Musgrove Park, and the teams working in mental health and community services. Musgrove will be rolling out a comprehensive campaign to deliver this.