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Reminder to Frontline Health and Social Care Staff who haven’t yet taken up the offer of a free Flu jab offer to make this a priority

Keeping healthy

07 November 2022

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Winter is not far away, and unfortunately, we are already seeing a rise in respiratory infections in Northamptonshire. This is why we are asking frontline health and social care staff who haven’t yet taken advantage of their free Flu jab to get it as soon as possible. 

While many respiratory infections are part of the fabric of winter months, seasonal flu (influenza) is easily preventable through vaccination. It will help protect not only yourself from becoming seriously ill, but also your families, and those you care for.  

Flu is a highly contagious virus which can be caught by anyone, even healthy individuals with resulting symptoms which can range from mild to severe. 

However, for clinically at-risk groups including older adults, people who are immunosuppressed and those with other underlying health conditions, catching flu can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia and septic shock leading to death.  

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions over the last two years influenza levels have remained low nationally. However, as a result of the lifting of restrictions, opening up of the economy and increased movement within the community its predicted that this year we are on course for a ‘twindemic’ of flu and COVID-19. This is likely to result in increased hospitalisations due to complications and put serious pressure on our health and social care systems.

This year’s flu vaccination programme offers the vaccination to all frontline health and social care workforce:

  • all frontline healthcare workers working in primary, secondary, community and independent provider services
  • to all formal carers who are employed by social care services including hospice staff, those employed in a frontline role, as well as personal assistants and paid carers who support vulnerable service users in care homes or in their households
As a physiotherapist I am fully aware of the responsibility we have as healthcare professionals. 

Frontline health and social care workers are more at risk of either getting infection or transmitting infection to the vulnerable population they care for, due to their roles requiring close contact. It’s crucial that health and social care staff take personal responsibility to protect themselves, and the people they care for by getting a flu vaccine. 

I urge healthcare workers and those working as carers who haven’t yet had their flu jab to prioritise getting it as soon as possible.
Councillor Helen Harrison, Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing for North Northamptonshire Council
If you work as a frontline health or social care worker the flu vaccination is free and available from either your own occupational health department, your GP, or a local community pharmacy. 

If getting it external to any work arrangements it’s important to ensure that the person giving you your jab knows you are working in health or social care, so it can be registered as the reason you are taking up the vaccine.
Councillor Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Wellbeing, and Health Integration for West Northamptonshire Council

It is important that all colleagues who receive a flu vaccination outside of an internal workplace vaccination session, to please let your workplace know.