Not too late to get flu vaccine! - 20 November 2017

Race to the finish line! Morecambe Bay Hospitals encourage all staff to get vaccinated against flu.

Flu is a hot topic at this time of year and local health organisations are encouraging health professionals, carers and those at risk to take up the offer of vaccination.

To help encourage a higher uptake of vaccination this year departments at University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust NHS FT (UHMBFT) have been competing with each other to achieve a 75% vaccination rate. It’s predicted that in the coming five weeks staff uptake of the vaccination will surpass 75% giving everyone the best chance of beating flu this season and focusing on patient care.

Every year professionals look towards Australia to help hone their predictions for what might happen here. This year a particularly tough Flu season is expected, Australia suffered its worse flu season in recent memory. When choosing strains for the coming year’s flu vaccine, they consider what’s circulating in that part of the world and prepare a vaccine to give the UK the best possible chance of fighting that year’s flu.

It is recommended that as many people as possible receive this year’s vaccination by the end of December before the flu season really kicks in during January and February, so there is still plenty of time to get involved. It is also important to note that vaccines will still be available during flu season but they are less likely to be effective due to the vaccine taking a couple of weeks to prepare your body to fight against the flu virus.

You can do your bit too. If you are in one of the at risk groups, such as if you are aged over 65, have a long term health condition, a weakened immune system or you’re pregnant, you should have already received an invitation to attend.

Dr Richard Russell, GP in Morecambe Bay, said: "It’s really important for everyone to get vaccinated. Many people compare Flu to the common cold, but it is so much worse. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and your family, friends and colleagues."

"Flu will generally leave the sufferer bed ridden for one to two weeks, with a fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, fatigue and headaches."

"It’s not possible to catch the flu from the vaccine, and you will be protected from the most common variants of the flu. The flu virus is spread by coughs and sneezes, the virus can survive for up to 24 hours on surfaces. "

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