The medical director of NHS England in Northamptonshire rolled up his sleeves and had his annual flu jab to help highlight their importance to NHS staff and carers.
Professor Aly Rashid explained: “As winter approaches and coughs, colds and flu start to circulate in the community, it’s important to keep ourselves healthy and well at this time.
“For healthcare staff and carers, those we look after are more vulnerable to flu and can be hit the hardest by the virus – but this can be prevented by simply having the flu jab like me today.
“We are encouraging all healthcare staff and carers to check with their employer to see if they’re eligible for a free flu jab.”
Outbreaks of flu often occur in health and social care settings where people are in close contact with each other, and because flu is so contagious, staff, patients and residents are all at risk of infection.
Every winter, the vast majority of unpaid carers miss out on a free flu jab, despite the fact that they are entitled to request one.
Anyone receiving a carer’s allowance, or who is the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should speak to their GP or pharmacist about having a free flu jab along with the person cared for.
Prof Rashid added: “If a carer is struck down by flu they could become too ill to care.”