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‘Selfish’ nurses urged to have winter flu jab


The chief medical officer has branded nurses who fail to have the seasonal flu jab “selfish”, as a campaign was launched specifically to encourage healthcare staff to get vaccinated.

Only 30% of frontline nurses and midwives were last year vaccinated against seasonal influenza, fewer than any other group of health professionals. Overall 34% of frontline staff were vaccinated (news, page 7, 13 September).

This year, for the first time, a national campaign has been launched to encourage staff to have the vaccine. It is being run by NHS Employers with the support of unions.

Backing the campaign, chief medical officer for England Sally Davies said: “It is selfish of healthcare workers if they don’t make sure they are protected or are unable to go into work because they are sick.”

She admitted she was being “quite heavy” on frontline staff, but said it was necessary because they were the ones who needed to pass on a positive message about vaccination to patients.

Asked why uptake was often so low among healthcare professionals, Department of Health director of immunisation David Salisbury said: “They don’t think it’s important, they even think it can give them flu, or they haven’t got time – there are a whole basket of different reasons. It’s a shame because they have great influence.”

He said the DH had written to trusts urging them to put processes in place to make it easier for staff to get vaccinated, for example by having vaccine teams visit wards.

Professor Salisbury said: “If you have an occupational health clinic once a week, that doesn’t help those on a night shift.”

The national vaccination programme for patients is officially due to start on 3 October. This year’s vaccine protects against the same strains as last year – H1N1, H3N2 and a B strain.



Readers' comments (15)


    Wouldn't that be a great headline? I should seriously start writing for the tabloid rags I think!

    Nurses are educated professionals, if an individual Nurse reviews the available evidence and then chooses NOT to have the jab on that basis, that is up to them.

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  • Quite right, Mike.

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  • So its have a go at nurses time again!

    The CMO obviously doesn't know that a vaccine isn't guaranteed to prevent flu anyway, and some people do react badly to it. I'm not talking about flu symptoms here, but more serious conditions as documented last year and the year before.

    The chemical adjuvants added to the vaccines are what makes people ill.

    We have the same right to informed consent as anyone else, and should not be pressurised into having the jab. As for passing on the flu virus to oatients, we are more likely to catch all manner of things from them, and that goes with the job. They are more likely to get flu from children or grandchildren who have brought it home from school. As for there not being enough staff to care for the patients if we get flu, well they should have though about that before making the drastic staff cuts that they have over the last couple of years, and now in particular. Idiots!

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  • No staff; no resources; more work; frozen (less) pay; crap (getting crappier) pension. Oh yeah, Nurses, what a bunch of selfish gits!!!

    mike | 22-Sep-2011 11:01 pm

    Nice headline!

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  • I'm going to try to put this politely....

    First off...

    Can the CMO prove that she is leading from the front on this issue and send a photocopy of her certificate of having had the "seasonal flu jab" to the National Times and have them publish it here online?

    Heheheheee... Like Obama's birth-certificate... I think that one's going to ride for a while...


    Registered Nurses are not your sheep or cattle that you can annually herd/coral/pen and bully and then inoculate and inject with substances that might have harmful side-effects.


    Old or new... Qualified Nurses are experienced autonomous practitioners who work on evidence-based practice.

    If you can only get 34% of that informed section of the RNs to have the flu-jab then it means over 75% of the Registered Nurses (who are highly qualified) either think the jab is infective or potentially life-threatening.


    Are Doctors being blackmailed, by the BMA, into having the jab? Methinks NOT!
    Perhaps they know something we don't!


    Nurses are obviously being used as Guinea pigs... and also to promote the jabs.

    I've been around since the days of Chinese, Flu The Norwalk virus, Asian Flu, Bird Flu... I have never been inoculated against any of them and never suffered any symptoms...

    The only thing I do object against though is when family members insist on bring young children into our facility when we have "lock-down" emergency...

    Yeah... lock-down should mean lock-down but in Canada that seems to infringe the relatives Humans Rights under the Constitution.

    Okay, that's my five penny-worth. Just don't bring that needle near to me. It infringes my rights, not only as a human being, but also as a well-informed RN.

    I really do not want acquiesce to your incessant bullying tactics Madame CMO!

    Please notice I never resorted to bad language or profanity during the entire length of this diatriabe,,,,

    Oh Hells Bells and bloody buggery I spelt diatriabe wrong - it should have been diatribe....

    Never mind - just like the RCN - no one will ever read this shit!

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  • Hey BTW did any of you spot that previous post?

    Anonymous | 24-Sep-2011 11:35 pm was ME!!!!

    Fuck knows what went wrong.

    Perhaps the NT Online computer thought I was being too polite and then did a semi-ban on my head.

    Never mind. That was my message.

    Spooky or what eh?

    @Tink - you go girl. Keep fighting the fight.

    @mike - stop agreeing with me so much.

    @Mags - you have some SERIOUS input on here chile.

    @All the others - I think were have a consensus for some serious action here. Thank you for your input - it is a blindingly astonishingly good thread so far. Please keep it up.

    Don't forget that this thread will not only be read by RN's - it will be read by the public, politicians, RCN reps and even other bottom-feeders like the illiterate scum that write for the Daily Mail!

    Selfish Nurses? Bahhhh! Sally Davies - go do it first - Per Rectum - before you come here trying to give professional (and current) Nurses lectures!

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  • Steve Williams

    Both of those previous posts were my own scribblings.... Steve Williams RN RMN SRN....

    Perhaps I have been semi-banned from NT or perhaps their crappy site-software has finally been hacked.... it truly is dire folks!

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  • Steve Williams

    Oh nose....

    Me seems to be back now.

    Let us see how this works?

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  • Steve Williams

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  • This comment has been removed for failing to meet community standards<br/>

  • Steve Williams

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  • This comment has been removed for failing to meet community standards<br/>

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