Why the flu jab is the most effective protection against the flu

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is Head of Clinical Quality at HC-One, a national care home operator.

Working in social care means working with elderly people every day. I love my job, and I enjoy speaking to residents and getting to know them. Personally, I think I have one of the best jobs in the world.   

As Head of Clinical Quality at HC-One, my main priority is ensuring that our residents receive the kindest and very best care across our family of homes. But working alongside vulnerable people has taught me a very important lesson – in order to care for others you must also care for yourself.   

This mantra is particularly true when it comes to getting the flu jab each winter. I and all of my colleagues at HC-One will take the time this year to get our annual flu vaccination, as we do every year. We do this not only to protect ourselves, but more importantly to protect residents in our care.   

When providing care, it is important to be vigilant in addressing every aspect of an individual’s needs. This can be a substantial task, and the care staff across HC-One’s homes constantly impress me with their compassion and their dedication to their work.  

In such an environment, it is important to ensure that we are all taking those simple steps that can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of residents. A small act like getting the flu jab plays a significant role in ensuring we are providing the best possible care to residents.   

Some may argue that the jab is ineffective, so why get it? Yet there is endless research each year which shows that the flu jab is our best defence against contracting and spreading flu. The jab contains strains of the inactive flu virus which, when administered, stimulates our body’s immune system and produces the antibodies needed to fight an infection.   

This is what makes the flu jab so effective: it gives our body the information it needs to fight the flu, which stops us from contracting and spreading the virus.   

For those of us who work in social care, getting the flu jab is an essential part of our work. In vaccinating ourselves we are protecting the people we care for, and helping to ensure that we are able to provide the safest environment and the kindest care for residents. 

That is why I, and all my colleagues at HC-One, will be taking part in #jabathon and getting the flu jab this winter.

Read more about the evidence for the flu jab.

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