Flu jabs for frontline staff
Ambulance service encourages the public to follow suit.
A national campaign to get more frontline staff in the NHS to
have a flu jab is being supported by the North East Ambulance
More than 600 deaths in the UK were directly caused by flu and
many more were related to it during the last flu season.
This year's vaccine is being offered to all NEAS staff, at sites
across the North East - and members of the public who believe they
may be funerable are being encouraged to follow suit.
NEAS spokeswoman Margaret Wilkinson said: "Understandably, It's
really important that people working for the ambulance service get
vaccinated, as we are doing a job where we come into
regular contact with patients.
"It's something our staff are very aware of, and I would
encourage any member of the public to get the jab."
For some vulnerable groups, such as the fatal or those with
underlying health problems, flu can be fatal.
Dean Royles, Director of NHS Employers, said: "This campaign
will drive up vaccination rates by explaining that it is safe,
showing how important it is and helping local organisations to
deliver jabs quickly and conveniently.
"We want staff vaccinations to eventually become as commonplace
in the NHS as washing your hands. In some health trusts over 90 per
cent of front-line staff are vaccinated, which is fantastic.
"Organisations throughout England are strongly backing this
campaign and we believe staff will come out equally strongly in
support, especially given the excellent help and backing being
provided by their unions.
"This year's vaccine is the best possible formula to protect
people against seasonal flu and H1N1."
Department of Health figures released on 6 September showed that
Between 12 September 2010 and 4 May 2011 a total of 602 confirmed
fatal flu cases from across the UK were reported to the Health
Protection Agency, while wider flu-related deaths are estimated to
be far higher.