Flu Vaccine: Protecting Frontline Workers

The flu virus spreads from person-to-person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. Unvaccinated, asymptomatic (but nevertheless infected) staff may unknowingly pass on the virus to vulnerable patients, friends, family and colleagues. Flu can cause severe complications and flu-related staff sickness also affects service delivery, impacting on patients and on other staff. Recently published evidence suggests a 10% increase in vaccination may be associated with as much as a 10% fall in sickness absence in the NHS. 

Flu outbreaks also have a serious effect on the social care sector. Every year there are flu outbreaks in care homes despite high flu vaccination rates for residents. This is partly because as people age, they do not produce as good an immune response to vaccination. Vaccination against flu protects the people we care for and protects staff, their family and friends, helping to keep services running safely during winter. Flu can cause severe complications, but this FREE vaccination is the best protection. 

Whilst the threat may be invisible, the protection against it is clear.

Key messages 

● This is anything but a typical year and we all want to protect ourselves and those close to us. Flu can be deadly and is easily spread. 

● If you’re a frontline worker in the NHS or social care, you’re more likely to be exposed to flu. 

● You can have no symptoms but unknowingly spread it to your friends, family and patients / those you care for. 

● Being healthy doesn’t reduce your risk of getting flu or passing it on. 

● All frontline health and social care workers have FREE access to the best protection available, the flu jab. 

● To keep you, your family and patients / those you care for protected, get your free annual flu jab as soon as you can. 

● Flu immunisation can reduce the rates of illness, reducing staff absence and pressures on the NHS and social care services.

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