Chief Medical Officer urges NHS staff to get flu jab

The Chief Medical Officer has written a letter to NHS staff urging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the spread of flu.

The letter reminds healthcare workers of the role they pay in protecting the health of the public.

It is signed by the Chief Medical Officer, NHSE Medical Director, PHE Medical Director and NHSE Chief Nursing Officer.

Across the NHS, 59 per cent of staff have had the vaccine but in some trusts less than three in 10 staff are protected.

Recent statistics have shown: an 86 per cent increase in people newly admitted to intensive care with confirmed influenza from the previous week; 114 people were admitted to ICU with flu, compared to 78 cases at this time last year, and 35 in 2015/16; and a three-fold increase in the rate of people admitted to hospital with confirmed flu since the previous week.

Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said: “Flu can kill and it is important we all take it seriously.

“The best way to protect yourself and those around you is to get the flu jab. If you are suffering from flu-like symptoms you should catch your coughs or sneezes in tissues, bin the tissue immediately, and wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.”

Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director, said: “The recent flu figures are a reminder that NHS staff should protect themselves, patients and their loved ones by getting vaccinated. We should have a measured debate about making this the norm for doctors, nurses and other frontline NHS staff before next winter.”

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