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Be a flu fighter – get your flu jab!

Peer immunisers are at the heart of this year’s staff flu immunisation programme, which is now up and running.

Peers offer on-the-spot vaccinations to colleagues and their role boosts the series of on-site clinics run by occupational health nurses.

Peer immunisation is a quick and effective way to get teams of staff vaccinated without time spent away from their clinical areas.

It is vital that all staff who have direct contact with patients be vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, colleagues and patients from this serious and sometimes fatal virus.

Even if you experience very mild symptoms, the virus can still be transmitted to very ill patients with potentially grave consequences.

People with chronic disease are extremely vulnerable, for example, those with chronic liver disease are 83 times at higher risk of contracting flu compared to a healthy person.

It is also crucial for pregnant women to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their baby.

Jennifer Reid, immunisation programme manager, said: “Vaccination only takes a couple of minutes, but gives protection for up to 12 months and reduces the potential spread of the virus to vulnerable patients.”

Whether attending a mass clinic or being vaccinated through peer immunisation, staff are asked to register online beforehand.

The form and full staff flu vaccination timetable can be found on our website:

Staff wishing to run a peer immunisation session should contact Agata Janicka, project administrator, email: [email protected]

Why staff should have their flu jag

“We are caring for patients at their most vulnerable, they are the sickest patients in the hospital at a high risk of infections, and that includes the flu.”

This is the compelling argument for staff to get their flu vaccination from Ruth McLaughlin, senior charge nurse, critical care at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and peer immuniser.

Ruth, left, has immunised colleagues for the last three years and became a peer immuniser because she believed that if immunisation took place on the ward, it would lead to a higher uptake.

She’s also motivated because of her job in ITU: “Our patients are admitted for a range of serious conditions, affecting their lungs, hearts and kidneys, and we also admit emergency obstetric patients.

“We see many flu cases and its consequences; for these vulnerable patients, this can include organ failure.”

She strongly believes that immunisation protects staff, their families and patients from getting the flu, and added: “Our patients are already compromised. We don’t want them recovering from their procedures, discharged, catching the flu, and coming back to critical care.”

For more information about our staff vaccination programme, contact Jennifer, email: [email protected]