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Record numbers of NHS staff having flu vaccination, figures reveal

A record number of front-line NHS staff including nurses have received flu vaccinations this year.
record numbers

A record number of front-line NHS staff including nurses have received flu vaccinations this year

Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show 372,339 health workers in England have been immunised since the annual drive began on 1 September.

This means 40% of eligible staff have been voluntarily vaccinated the highest number on record.

The figure is higher than any other period from 1 September-31 October in previous seasons, including last year when 32.4% (312,303 staff members) were vaccinated. The final vaccination rate last year was 502,033 (50.6%).

Local support

NHS Employers (NHSE) works with PHE, supported by the Department of Health, to run the annual flu fighter campaign.

NHSE chief executive Danny Mortimer said: This vital campaign is

A record number of front-line NHS staff including nurses have received flu vaccinations this year


A total of 40% of eligible staff have been voluntarily vaccinated – the highest
number on record. Picture: Tim George 

Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show 372,339 health workers in England have been immunised since the annual drive began on 1 September.

This means 40% of eligible staff have been voluntarily vaccinated – the highest number on record. 

The figure is higher than any other period from 1 September-31 October in previous seasons, including last year when 32.4% (312,303 staff members) were vaccinated. The final vaccination rate last year was 502,033 (50.6%).

Local support 

NHS Employers (NHSE) works with PHE, supported by the Department of Health, to run the annual flu fighter campaign.

NHSE chief executive Danny Mortimer said: ‘This vital campaign is off to a terrific start and we’re immensely proud of the efforts being made by staff to keep colleagues healthy and protect vulnerable patients from the flu.

‘The flu fighter campaign couldn’t do this fantastic work without the support of local NHS staff, who are really knocking flu out of the park this winter.’

Previously, the highest uptake for this stage in the campaign was in 2014, when 340,826 (36.8%) front-line staff were vaccinated between 1 September-31 October.

Last month Nursing Standard reported how during the 2015-16 campaign, qualified nurses (not including practice nurses) in England had the lowest uptake for flu vaccinations among NHS staff groups at 44.9%.

Responsibility 

GP practice nurses had the highest rates in 2015-16 at 65.2%.

RCN professional lead for public health nursing Helen Donovan told Nursing Standard it was ‘the responsibility of all front-line healthcare staff to get the flu vaccine’. 

‘Most healthcare professionals are reasonably young and fit and if they get ill it will not mean they are hospitalised, but this isn’t true for all of their patients,’ she said.

‘Nurses must get vaccinated, but trusts must also make the vaccine as easy to access as possible across various sites and as close to where staff are working as possible.’

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