It’s that time of year again where we take up arms against the dreaded flu virus to ensure 100% of all staff involved in the care and treatment of patients get their vaccine.
As you will know, flu can be particularly dangerous in hospital therefore it is crucial that our front-line teams are vaccinated against the bug.
Below you can find out more information on where and when you can get the jab, what is contained in this year’s vaccine, as well as download our supporting materials in order to encourage colleagues to get the vaccination.
If you do get your jab this year, please encourage at least one other colleague to get it. As described by our Chief Executive, Richard Parker, ensuring we are flu-safe is incredibly important and is just one more step we can take in order to protect our patients.
When and where?
Each and every day, our vaccinators will be visiting wards, departments and services offering the jab to staff. However, a number of drop-in clinics are available if you want to get your jab immediately, click the links for times and dates:
If you are working nights:
- We have a peer vaccinator at Bassetlaw who can accommodate night staff. Contact extension number 642581 to arrange a mutually convenient date and time.
- At Doncaster Royal Infirmary, early drop-in clinics are available from 6.30am in Occupational Health (D Block): Wednesday 24, Friday 26 and Tuesday 30 October. Late clinics are available to 8.30pm on Tuesday 23, Thursday 25, Tuesday 30 and Thursday 1 November.
Got a question about dates and times? Speak with Occupational Health on 01302 642581
What is in this year’s vaccination?
To better inform you about what the jab contains this year, we have prepared a handy guide on the strains
involved. This information is based on reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is designed
to give you an understanding of what you are protecting yourself and patients from.
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09 – like strain: A H1N1 influenza strain was responsible for the
2009 flu pandemic, which killed almost 15,000 people around the world.
- A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) – like strain: H3N2 has been the dominant strain in the
Northern Hemisphere over the past several months, but circulation has varied widely by region. Still,
viruses of this kind have been associated with severe outbreaks in many countries and tend to occur in
a seasonal pattern. They are very contagious, especially in patients who are very young or old or have
some other medical condition as well.
- B/Phuket/3073/2013 – like strain: Influenza B is less common but still causes outbreaks of seasonal
flu. One or two strains of influenza B are included in the seasonal flu vaccine every year to protect
people from the most likely illnesses during the upcoming flu season.
- B/Colorado/06/2017 – like strain: Another one for Influenza B, the Colorado strain is replacing
the B/Brisbane/60/2008 strain from last year’s vaccination. This is because emerging viruses now
increasingly resemble the Colorado strain instead.
If you need to know more, our Library and Learning team are on-hand to help, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Your flu vaccine questions answered!
We are aware of a few myths surrounding this flu vaccine, to help sift faction from fiction, we caught up with Dr Ken Agwuh, Director of Infection, Prevention and Control:
Myth one: The Flu vaccine can give you the flu and other illnesses
Busted by Dr Agwuh: Some people believe the jab can cause the flu – as a clinician with many years of experience, I can confidently say that it’s quite impossible to contract the flu from the vaccine because the adult vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses. While it is true that a small number of people can experience side-effects such as headache or muscle pain, and perhaps a bit of a sore arm, this is just the body’s immunity recognising the vaccine and creating a reaction – and this will pass after a short period of time.
You may also hear the flu vaccine associated with the Gillian Barre Syndrome (GBS) – a very rare disease. This is somewhat of a red herring and recent studies in the past decade have shown this risk being extremely low – so low in fact the chances of getting GBS because you’ve contracted the flu is much higher.
The take-home message? Get your jab.
Myth two: I’m as fit as a fiddle, I don’t need the flu vaccine!
Busted by Dr Agwuh: While we don’t doubt that we have a very healthy workforce, if you regularly come into contact with patients you’re much more likely to come down with the flu – with data showing that around one in four NHS workers are affected by the virus each year.
While you might be lucky enough to be ‘fighting fit’ and able to shake off the flu in a few days, there’s a possibility that those in your care will not. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so just get the jab.
Myth three: I had the flu vaccine last year – I’m protected!
Busted by Dr Agwuh: Getting your vaccination each year is important as different strains can circulate. The types of flu you’ve been protected against in 2017 may be completely different from those that you will need to fight against in 2018 – know your H1N1s from your H3N2 and get your jab.
Myth four: I had my jab last year and still got the flu – I’m not getting it this year!
Busted by Dr Agwuh: There are many strains of the flu vaccine, and while we select our vaccine based on the best intelligence we have, sometimes you might be unlucky enough to contract a strain you haven’t been protected against.
However, if you work with patients the chances of catching a common flu variant is much higher and it really pays to have that extra protection, so get your jab.
Have more questions? Our Library and Knowledge Team have a fantastic knowledge base which will help you make an educated decision on whether or not you should get your jab. Pop-in and see them for more information.
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