Health staff urged to get flu jab

October 01 2018

Front-line healthcare workers in Thornbury are being urged to have a flu jab, with officials saying staff refusing the vaccine could be banned from treating patients.

Last winter more than a quarter of front-line NHS workers at the North Bristol Trust were not vaccinated during what was the worst flu season in a decade. 

Public Health England figures reveal that 1,252 frontline healthcare workers at the North Bristol Trust did not get the flu vaccine between September 2017 and February 2018.  

Of the 4,577 doctors, nurses, clinical staff and support workers at the trust with direct patient contact, 3,325 did get the vaccine - an uptake rate of 73%. That's above the England average of 69%, but still below targets.

The NHS said making vaccination "near universal" is to protect patients in higher-risk clinical environments, like neonatal intensive care and cancer wards, and limit their exposure to unvaccinated staff. Up to 50% of people with the flu may not even know they have it - but for patients with weakened immune systems or respiratory problems, the flu can be life-threatening.