I am delighted to be launching #jabathon this year, a year that marks the NHS’s 70th birthday and 100 years since Spanish flu, by sharing my own reasons why I’ve had my flu jab.
I had my jab this year to protect myself and others, especially my children and my mum.
Everyone will have their own personal reasons for getting their flu vaccination but #jabathon
encourages us to share those reasons and nominate our colleagues to do the same.
As health and social care workers, you will already be aware of the impact that flu can have on patient care. At a time when winter pressures are at an all-time high, preventing the spread of flu is vital to ensuring that health and social care organisations are able to cope with the demands on the service.
Flu vaccination is high on the public health agenda this year. The latest clinical evidence
document from Public Health England underlines the importance of healthcare worker vaccination to protect patients in health and social care settings who are much more vulnerable to flu’s severe effects.
Senior leaders in the NHS have also written to all NHS trusts
highlighting the importance of healthcare workers protecting their patients, colleagues and families by getting vaccinated against flu. NHS England are also providing free vaccinations
to eligible social care and hospice staff this year, ensuring that vulnerable patients who are at increased risk from exposure to flu are protected.
I’d like to extend a massive thank you to all the flu teams everywhere, in both the NHS and the social care sector. Thank you for your efforts in ensuring that 68.7 per cent of frontline staff got their flu jab in 2017/18, a huge 80,000 more staff than were vaccinated than the previous year.
I know planning for flu season starts early for you all and I know you’ll all work hard to fight flu this season. Let’s keep up our good work and continue to protect all the people around us, especially our patients, from flu.