There has been a 4.4% reduction in the uptake of the flu vaccine by frontline healthcare staff, compared to this time last year, Public Health England revealed.
The first indication of this year’s uptake shows 32.4% of frontline healthcare workers had influenza vaccinations in September and October 2015, a 4.4% reduction compared to this time last year at 36.8%.
Health experts warned that to keep NHS services running as normal during the winter, and protect vulnerable patients, more NHS staff need to take the vaccines.
In response to the figures, Sally Davies, chief medical officer, said: “All NHS staff have a duty to get the flu vaccine to protect their patients from infection. So far, more than 300,000 NHS staff have had their flu jab, and I urge those who have not yet done so to get vaccinated now.”
Similarly, Dr. Richard Pebody, head of flu surveillance for PHE, said people with certain long-term conditions are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu and can end up in hospital.
He added: “The latest figures reinforces the need for annual flu vaccination among key groups including health and social care workers to help protect both themselves, but also vulnerable patients that they might look after, who are at greater risk of the serious consequences of flu.”