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‘Why I get my flu jab’ - Northumbria staff share reasons to encourage others

Tuesday, 06 December, 2016
‘Why I get my flu jab’ – Northumbria staff share reasons to encourage others

Healthcare workers in Northumberland and North Tyneside are this week sharing their reasons why they have had their flu jab to encourage people who are eligible to have their free NHS vaccination.

Frontline staff at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are backing NHS Employers’ #jabathon, which runs until Sunday 11 December, to promote take-up of the seasonal flu vaccination.

Each year NHS workers across the country are vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and their patients and so far almost 60 per cent of frontline Northumbria Healthcare staff have had their jab.

As part of #jabathon, the trust is sharing videos of staff explaining why they get vaccinated on its social media platforms.

Flu is highly-infectious and can lead to serious complications – the jab is free through the NHS if you are aged 65 years or over, living with a long-term health condition, a carer, pregnant, or aged 2, 3 or 4 years old. Eligible people should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife to get vaccinated now.

Among the videos being shared are from midwife Amanda Ord and community nurse Shelley Scott.

Amanda said: “I have my flu jab because I look after vulnerable mums and babies at The Northumbria hospital and I would recommend that all pregnant mums get their vaccine during their pregnancy.

“Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and if a mum-to-be gets flu, they may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming ill.

“If you’re pregnant, the jab is the safest way to protect you and your baby against flu at any stage of pregnancy, however fit and healthy you might feel.”

Shelley, who works in the out-of-hours service in North Tyneside, said: “I have my flu jab to protect the elderly patients that I go and see in their own homes and would encourage anyone aged 65 or over to have their vaccinations as well.”

Other Northumbria staff sharing their stories about why they get vaccinated include Louise Fitzgibbon, interim chief matron for surgery, and occupational therapist Helen Graham.

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

The campaign gives people helpful tips and advice on how to look after themselves well during the colder weather and to access the most appropriate service for the severity of their condition.

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