2017 Flu Campaign
Yes it’s that time of the year again. The time when all hell breaks loose about flu vaccines and, in occupational health departments across the country, the clock is ticking as they prepare their 2017 flu campaign.
I remember when I organised or gave flu jabs…
Flu Vaccinations in Industry
Here, the biggest problem was ordering enough flu vaccines and predicting uptake. Then the number of workers who went off sick the next day with ‘flu’, caused, they said by the vaccination. It was impossible of course to get the flu from the vaccination because it was a dead vaccine – but workers tended to override science with their dramatic headaches and colds. We got over this eventually by doing the vaccinations on a Friday.
Contracted Out Vaccinations
A couple of years ago, local supermarkets started giving flu vaccinations and we tapped into that by offering to pay staff if they had the vaccination and presented us with the receipt. To be honest, it didn’t work all that well but it was a tick in the box for the organisation.
Here the main problem was getting any staff to attend for the vaccination. It’s strange in hospitals just how many professional staff believe they are immune to bugs. Nevertheless, we had to come up with innovative ways of enticing them in.
My new plan when I took over as head of occupational health was to go to the wards with a ‘Flu Trolley’. The idea, at the time, was hailed as genius; but it’s pretty old hat now. I heard the other day that some Trusts give the vaccines to the department nurses and doctors and they administer them to their teams themselves. Now that is an absolutely brilliant idea!
Target for Flu Vaccinations 2017/18
Every year there is a national campaign which set out the targets:
|Eligible Groups||Expected Uptake|
75%, recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO)
|Healthcare Workers||The trust-level ambition is to reach a minimum 75% uptake and an improvement in every Trust. Primary care providers aim to achieve this too|
|Aged under 65 ‘at risk’, including pregnant women||At least 55% in all clinical risk groups, and maintaining higher rates where those have already been achieved.|
|Children aged 2 –8 year||Uptake levels between 40-65% to be attained by every provider.|
And according to scientists in Australia, they warn the country is experiencing its worst flu season on record.
Australia has reported 98,000 confirmed cases of the flu this season – more than double the rate it was this time last year. There are also twice as many people hospitalised.
With the winter sun appearing on our horizons the pressure is on to limit the damage that this flu season could inflict.
Further Reading and Resources
For the Australian full story go to the Telegraph news section at bit.ly/2h5iOwy
For full information about 2017 flu campaign and to download all the free resources from the NHS including communication programmes etc, go to bit.ly/2h5O7Hh