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DH campaign to get more nurses vaccinated against flu


The Department of Health is to run a campaign to encourage more NHS staff to get immunised against seasonal influenza, following continued poor uptake among the healthcare workforce last year.

The government’s seasonal flu plan for winter 2011-12, published last week, calls for an increase in vaccination rates for frontline healthcare workers, stating that patients “may expect” them to be vaccinated against seasonal flu.

Uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine in frontline healthcare workers was 34.7% at the end of the 2010-11 vaccination programme, compared with 24.7% in 2009-10, but the DH said “this is still too low”.

The plan said the DH would run an NHS staff vaccination communications campaign in 2011-12, which “will be designed to support local teams, ensure consistency of message, share best practice and harness clinical and professional leadership at both national and local levels”.

The plan said the importance of immunising staff was highlighted by a flu outbreak at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 2008, where it was “mainly spread by healthcare workers”.

The plan also set out aims to increase vaccine uptake rates from 50% to 75% over the next three years for under 65s in at-risk groups, and purchasing a central vaccine reserve to cope with shortages like last winter’s.


Readers' comments (6)

  • come on nurses - get the jab and protect your patients

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  • I WILL NOT get the flu injection - it is my choice. I am not in any 'at risk' group, therefore I will not get an immunisation for flu. I have only had flu once and not had in the last 20 odd years.
    Before everyone starts ranting at me- why should we get it? To protect patients?? Then why dont we start getting injected for everything else under the sun then!?!? Chicken pox etc etc etc

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  • NHS nurse, 31st may 11.03am.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I do not have either the flu or swine flu jab as there isn't any guaranteed immunity from it, I'm not in any of the at risk groups and have read enough to decide that I don't want to risk the potentially serious side effects of the vaccine, particularly the swine flu jab. I have the right to refuse it, and the DOH have trotted out their emotional blackmail statement for this year which is;
    Patients may expect healthcare workers to have it.
    The trusts don't care about us, they only care about having to pay to cover us IF we get flu.

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  • It's another government target, and emotional blackmail. There is a job lot to get rid of and GP's need the money per vaccine. All scaremungering. I work in a research environment and becoming ever sceptical. We were supposed to drop everything for flu studies, it never happened!! We live in a poweful drug company controlled world amonst other controlling influences on our lives.

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  • we have already been over all these arguments on previous pages on this topic. it is a free country and as the law currently stands the choice is up to the individual and the argument for the vaccine should not be coercive or manipulative.

    there are as many arguments against the vaccine as there are for it so let the individual decide, according to their own general health, personal preferences, anxieties or benefits, without condemning them, stigmatising them or using the safety of patients as an emotional argument.

    you go ahead and have you vaccine and feel good about it, fine but don't go crticicising others who feel for what ever reason they would prefer not to have it.
    you may be protected from a few strains of flu by the vaccine, they may be protected by a previous bout of flu, their immune system or lack of contact with the virus. only each individual knows what their own needs are.

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  • It is not about protecting patients or staff, it's about achieving targets and getting the remunerition for it.

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