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Northumbria NHS staff lead by example by having flu jab

Thursday, 27 October, 2016
Northumbria NHS staff lead by example by having flu jab

NHS staff in Northumberland and North Tyneside are leading by example and helping to reduce the spread of illnesses this winter by having their flu jab.

Almost a third of frontline staff – nearly 2,000 employees – at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have so far have had their flu vaccination to protect themselves, their family and their patients.

Flu vaccination is part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign, a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, to help the public ward off common winter illnesses.

Northumbria Healthcare, which runs hospitals and community services, is backing the campaign and encouraging everybody who is eligible to get vaccinated.

Flu is a highly-infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like: COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke.

Flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital. People with these and other long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their GP or pharmacist.

The flu campaign also targets pregnant women and parents of children aged 2, 3 and 4 and in school years 1, 2 and 3. For eligible children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray available.

David Evans, chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our teams play a key role caring for patients in hospitals and in the community and it’s vitally important staff have the vaccination in order to protect themselves, their families and their patients.

“We’re really pleased with the uptake of the vaccination from our frontline staff so far and we will be giving flu jabs to many more over the next few weeks.

“Our staff are playing their part in helping to reduce the spread of illnesses this winter and we are encouraging people in Northumberland and North Tyneside to do the same.

“We’re urging everyone who’s eligible for a free flu jab such as pregnant women, people suffering from a long-term health condition, those over 65 and carers to have their free jab and also encouraging parents of young children to have them vaccinated.”

Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment. The flu vaccine can help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others.

If you have a child aged 2, 3 or 4, get their free nasal spray flu vaccine from their GP. Children in school years 1, 2 or 3 will get their vaccinations through their school in most parts of the country.

Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby.  Pregnant women who get the flu may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming ill. The flu jab is the safest way to protect you and your baby against flu and you can have it at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your GP, pharmacist or midwife to the get the flu jab.

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