The number of NHS staff getting flu vaccinations could be the highest ever, official figures show.
Released by the Department of Health today (29 January 2013), the statistics show 44% of frontline NHS staff had their jab by the end of December.
Dean Royles, director of NHS Employers said: “Almost half a million NHS staff are now vaccinated and this greatly reduces the chance of them contracting flu, and passing it on to their family or vulnerable patients.
"The flu jab isn’t compulsory, so it's a major achievement to mobilise this many staff to get vaccinated and we are proud of their commitment to keeping the NHS safe for patients and colleagues.”
For the past two years NHS Employers ran a national flu fighter campaign to raise awareness of getting the vaccination.
Front line doctors and nurses at South West Essex Primary Care Trust have increased their vaccination uptake by 44% in two years.
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust have vaccinated more than 85% of their frontline healthcare workers, the highest rate in England.
More than 600 people died from the flu since 2011, and Dean Royles warned that NHS staff need to “stay vigilant”.
He added: “Our campaign will continue to promote the vaccinations nationally and locally, working to ensure that they are accessible and answer any questions staff may have.
“Then maybe one day having a flu jab will become as commonplace in the NHS as washing our hands."