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BEAT FLU appeal to healthcare workers: lead by example – get the jab

Healthcare staff working in nursing homes, private hospitals and in private community healthcare settings across Wales are being urged to get protected against flu by getting a flu vaccine.

Healthcare workers who are privately employed should talk to their employer about getting vaccinated, and make sure they get protected.

Flu_healthcare worker_POHealthcare workers are at increased risk of flu and are also in daily contact with older and vulnerable people, who often have underlying medical conditions. They need to get immunised against flu to protect themselves, and also to help protect their patients by reducing the spread of the virus.

Leading NHS medical experts and campaign groups are joining forces to encourage take-up of the vaccine before flu starts to circulate, to help reduce the number of people who get seriously ill with flu.

Public Health Wales’s Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Programme, said: “It’s critical that this message reaches all healthcare staff, whatever setting they work in. Please pledge to Beat Flu by getting your vaccine as soon as possible.

“Healthcare workers know more than anyone that flu can be a serious illness, and for people with underlying health conditions, it’s a virus that can prove deadly.

“The free vaccination is available to those at increased risk of complications of the disease and also the people who care for them. If more healthcare workers have the flu vaccination it can prevent unnecessary illness, suffering, and even death.”

Flu is a serious illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle aches and fatigue.

People most at risk of the complications of flu and therefore eligible for a free flu vaccination, include:

· Everyone aged 65 and over
· People with certain long term health conditions
· Pregnant women

The flu virus spreads easily via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A nasal spray flu vaccine is available this year for children aged two, three and four and those in school year 7. Direct contact with contaminated hands or surfaces can also spread infection. It can spread rapidly, especially in closed communities such as hospitals, residential homes and schools. The flu vaccine is safe, effective and free for those at increased risk.

Source: Cwm Taf University Health Board