NHS Staff Refuse Flu Jab

A new report discloses that fewer than one in seven front line NHS staff received a flu vaccine last year despite a recommendations that they do so.

The Department of Health is to release figures next week, which show that only 14 per cent of front line workers had a flu jab before the 2008-09 season.

This comes despite warnings from Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, that immunisation rates had to improve.

Under the code of practice for health-care-acquired infections issued by the NHS, and monitored by the Healthcare Commission, trusts are required to “ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that health care workers are free of, and protected from, exposure to communicable infections”.

However, a study of NHS attitudes conducted by the Government last year found that most staff did not view flu as a serious illness and thought the vaccine unnecessary because they were not at risk.

Source: The Telegraph, 28 February 2009.

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