“Up to 77% of people with flu have no symptoms”
A message to Western Sussex Hospitals staff from chief executive Marianne Griffiths on the importance of having your flu jab
Just like hundreds of colleagues working in every team and department across the trust, I’ve rolled up my sleeve to benefit from this year’s flu jab.
It’s widely believed the coming flu season will be severe which is why I am urging each and every member of staff to take advantage of your free vaccination.
Working in hospitals, we have a higher risk of catching flu and many of us could experience no symptoms yet still pass it on to our loved ones, colleagues and, of course, the people we care for.
A Lancet study indicates that up to 77% of people with flu have no symptoms, however, they can still pass it on with potentially fatal consequences, especially for those with underlying conditions and the elderly.
In a bad year, there are an estimated 14,000 deaths attributable to flu in this country and one mortality study indicates that a third of those who died in 2009 were actually healthy before the flu.
Given the terrible risks associated with influenza, I hope you’ll agree that we all have a responsibility to take every step we can to protect ourselves and the vulnerable from this deadly illness.
My executive colleagues and I were some of the very first members of staff to be vaccinated this year and, importantly, make sure our team is at least 80% Flu Protected.
Expert guidance suggests that an 80% vaccination rate creates so-called “herd immunity” which dramatically limits the number of infection carriers in an area, helping to stop the flu virus in its tracks.
This is therefore the challenge we are setting teams this year, ahead of what could be one of the worst flu seasons in years. Please encourage your team to get at least 80% Flu Protected.
With four in five of your team vaccinated, you will potentially save lives as well as protect each other and help your department maintain healthier staffing levels this winter.
Please check the facts and don’t believe the myths. For example, you cannot catch the flu from the vaccination as it contains no live virus.
There are many positive reasons to get your jab done and to my mind very few not to do so. Please check the facts and don’t believe the myths. For example, you cannot catch the flu from the vaccination as it contains no live virus. The risk of allergic reaction is less than one in a million.
More than 1,000 of your colleagues have already become flu fighters this year and for every vaccine we give to you, we will also donate a tetanus vaccination to a child in the developing world.
So, in addition to all the compelling reasons to get your jab done as soon as you can, please help us to help Unicef protect thousands of less-fortunate children too.
Flu clinics are running Monday to Friday every week this month and we’ve tripled the number of workplace vaccinators who can visit your team and help you get 80% Flu Protected.
Let’s rise to the challenge this winter, help each other stay healthy, and do our very best not to endanger the people we care for, both at work and at home.