NHS urges all staff to get flu jab this winter

The NHS wants all front-line healthcare workers to have a flu jab this winter, praising trusts which hit 90% coverage last year.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 10:01 am
Updated Friday, 21st September 2018, 10:02 am
File photo dated 05/10/09 of a patient receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. Latest figures on the number of flu deaths will be published today as the mother of a three-year-old victim urged the Government to further review its vaccination policy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 13, 2011. Pharmacy giant Boots has also revealed its stores have "very limited" stocks of the winter flu jab and said there was currently no hope of replenishing its supplies. See PA story HEALTH Flu. Photo credit should read: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Figures show that last winter the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust had one of the highest uptakes of the flu vaccine in England.

Almost 90% of front-line NHS workers at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust were vaccinated against the flu last year.

Public Health England figures show that 3,418 front-line healthcare workers at the trust received the flu vaccine between September 2017 and February 2018.

That’s an uptake rate of 89%, much higher than the England average of 69%.

But 406 of the 3,824 doctors, nurses, clinical staff and support workers with direct patient contact were not vaccinated - during the worst flu season in a decade.

As healthcare workers prepare for another difficult winter, NHS bosses have warned that staff refusing the vaccine this year could be banned from 
treating patients.

The NHS said making vaccination “near universal” is to protect patients in higher-risk clinical environments, like neonatal intensive care and cancer wards, and limit their exposure to unvaccinated staff.

Up to 50% of people with the flu may not even know they have it - but for patients with weakened immune systems or respiratory problems, the flu can be life-threatening.

The NHS said that trusts should “take appropriate steps to maintain the safety of the service”, including transferring unvaccinated workers away from high-risk patients.