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NHS staff not protecting themselves and patients from seasonal flu

Published on 07/12/2009
The dominant emphasis on the uptake of swine flu jabs among NHS workers is at risk of causing staff to forget the importance of seasonal flu prevention.

Last winter, only 16.5 per cent of NHS employees agreed to have the flu vaccine, potentially putting vulnerable adults, such as over 65s with chronic medical conditions, in danger of infection.

Tim Hammond, managing director of Barchester Healthcare, said: "With much of the current media focus on swine flu vaccinations, it can be easy to forget the importance of immunisation for seasonal flu - especially for the older population."

Figures show that approximately 8,000 people suffer from seasonal flu related deaths in the winter months in England and Wales.

According to the Health Protection Agency, almost three-quarters of Brits aged 65 and over received the seasonal flu vaccine by week five of this year's immunisation programme.

Some 47 per cent of people aged under 65 in risk groups also had the jab.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2009

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