independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Patients at risk as only minority of healthcare staff get flu jab

ONLY a minority of staff in HSE-run hospitals and nursing homes are getting the winter flu jab, putting patients at risk.

Figures for last winter show that the take-up was just 17.4pc among hospital staff, and it was lower still at 15pc in nursing homes where elderly residents are particularly vulnerable.

Annual seasonal flu vaccination is recommended to all healthcare workers to prevent illness among these workers and reduce absenteeism.

PROTECT

But most importantly, it helps to protect their patients against influenza and the associated complications, said the report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The report said vaccination uptake among health workers for the 2012-2013 season was inadequate and needs to be improved for the protection of patients and staff.

A number of outbreaks in healthcare facilities have been reported in recent years, which have been characterised by low uptake among health workers in these units. HSE senior management strongly urged all healthcare workers to obtain influenza vaccination.

Irish Independent

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