Nurses are heeding calls to have the seasonal flu jab, with almost three times as many NHS frontline staff having been vaccinated so far compared to the same time last year, latest Department of Health figures show.
Provisional figures show 29% of frontline staff in England have now been vaccinated, compared to 11% by this point in 2010.
Overall just 34.7% of frontline staff received the vaccination during the 2010-11 flu season. The new figures suggest the NHS is well on course to exceed last year’s total.
For the first time, a campaign is being targeted at encouraging NHS staff to get vaccinated. Dean Royles, director of NHS Employers which is running the campaign, said: “One of the biggest differences this year is a much greater increase in the use of social media to communicate the need for staff vaccinations.
“Vaccinations are not compulsory,” he added. “This big increase in vaccinations is down to the passion that NHS staff and employers have for protecting patients, colleagues and family.”
However, as revealed by Nursing Times earlier this month, many student nurses have said they have found it difficult to get vaccinated after being turned away by both GPs and trusts.
- The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the government on vaccination policy, last week opted not to recommend extending the seasonal flu campaign to all healthy children under 17 due to insufficient evidence.