Agency Workers Alert: Time for Free NHS Flu Jab

The British Nursing Association is encouraging all UK healthcare workers to have the free NHS Flu jab for which all healthcare workers are eligible.

Frontline nurses, HCAs and other agency workers should protect themselves by having the flu vaccine to prevent the spread of flu to colleagues and other members of the community.

The 2012/13 UK vaccine protects against three types of flu virus, according to the NHS Cumbria Partnership. This year’s flu jab protects against:

  • H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
  • H3N2 – a strain of flu that can infect birds and mammals and was active in 2011
  • A strain of flu that was active in 2010 known as B/Wisconsin/1

Britons are the ‘most unhygienic nation’, according to a new report. Britons were half as likely as other nationals to cover their hands and mouth more frequently when coughing or sneezing during the swine flu pandemic, the study has suggested.

The findings were published in the journal ‘Lancet Infectious Diseases’. Dr Gillian Steel Fisher of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, in America, said: “The wide variations between countries in our study shows that in the event of another serious outbreak of infectious disease, public perceptions have to be taken into account to best tailor and communicate policy approaches that need public support in each country.

“Our findings suggest that promoting non-pharmaceutical interventions – such as handwashing and avoiding large public gatherings of people – do not jeopardise the adoption of vaccination, though the uptake of vaccines was low compared to other behaviours in all countries we surveyed.

“To maximise the effect of pandemic policies, future efforts might need to combine vaccination programmes with support for the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

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