In a show of support for frontline medical staff during the flu season, Dr Tim Spicer, chair of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG joined Cllr Vivien Lukey, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s cabinet member for health and social care in getting vaccinated recently.
NHS and social care workers in Hammersmith and Fulham are eligible for a free flu vaccination to protect themselves and others over the winter months.
Along with frontline health and social care staff, it is highly recommended that other high risk groups such as children under five, adults over 65s, and anyone with a long-term condition get their vaccination in October or early November – although if that is not possible, the free vaccinations will continue to be available all winter from most practices. Flu is nasty for anyone, but for high risk groups it can lead to serious complications, and in extreme cases it can even be fatal.
Dr Spicer said: “Despite how brilliant, dedicated and hard-working our frontline staff are, they can be passing on the flu virus before becoming symptomatic themselves. So as well as protecting patients, this also helps reduce staff sickness during the winter months, which are often the busiest months of the year.”
Councillor Vivienne Lukey, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The more health workers that are vaccinated against the flu, the better we can protect the vulnerable members of our community with whom they come into contact. In at-risk groups, such as young infants, the elderly, those with long-term medical conditions and pregnant women, the flu can lead to more serious illnesses, so it is imperative we minimise risk wherever we can.”
Adults will be able to get the vaccination at GP surgeries and some community pharmacies from October. Children in school years 1 and 2 will be offered the vaccination at school in the form of a nasal spray, while children aged 2-4 years can get it at their GP practice.
For further information contact Sebastian.Baugh@nw.london.nhs.uk