Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust NHS Lozenge

Flu patients up by more than 300% at CHFT - why Richard had his jab

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ICU Critical Care Outreach Nurse, Richard Archer won an extra day's leave just by having his 'flu jab saying "it's vital for me to be protected in my role". It may be a New Year, though there is still time to have your vaccination. It really is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Last month 166 patients tested postive for 'flu, compared with 52 the previous December - so a whopping 310% increase in flu across our hospitals.

We asked Richard what made him have his vaccination: "I have my flu jab every year as it's vital for my role that I'm protected. The very nature of my job means most of my patients are critically ill and many have the flu, so it's important I'm immunised to protect myself, my patients and my family too - I don't want to be the one spreading it to others!

"I'm also aware that if I'm not here, my role is not covered and there would be no service, so it's really important I'm fit and healthy for work."

Our flu immunisers will be out and about over the next couple of weeks encouraging those who haven't had their jab to have it.

The flu vaccine is not "live" - and is designed to create an immune reaction in the recipient. This obviously varies from person to person, but the evidence suggests the more recent vaccines are more effective. The vaccine protects against 4 strains of flu, some of which are more prevalent, and which affects people aged 30 - 60 mostly.- so not just the very yound and old.

Healthcare workers are considered to be at higher than average risk of exposure to 'flu as they routinely see ill people. They also have capacity to become "silent carriers" of the virus so may have no or limited symptoms but will still shed the virus around to others - vulnerable patients especially whose immune systems mean they cannot respond so well to the vaccine.

You can call Occupational Health for a vaccination on 15 (2039) or check out if there is an immuniser near you here.

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Contact Communications at HRI, Caroline Wright (x5252), Jacqui Booth (x5256) or Daman Birik (x5253).
Deadline: Wednesday 12 Noon