Frontline health and social care staff encouraged to get a free flu jab

Somerset County Council will be offering their frontline health and social care staff, a free flu jab again this year, to help prevent the spread of flu.

This year the vaccinations, funded by Somerset County Council, will be available through dedicated clinics at several GP surgeries across Somerset.

Providing flu vaccination to our workforce who are in regular contact with vulnerable people, helps prevent the spread of this serious illness to our service users. Flu vaccination also helps to prevent flu in our workforce, which helps us to keep our services running

NHS England have announced that they have extended the seasonal influenza vaccination to social care workers that offer direct patient care. The Council are urging managers of registered residential care/nursing homes, domiciliary care providers or voluntary managed hospice providers to act as responsible employers and take up this offer for their staff.  The vaccine will help to ensure their patients and staff are protected against flu, an illness that can be particularly serious for those who are already ill or frail.

Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “Flu is a serious illness in vulnerable people, potentially causing deaths and complications such as pneumonia. We would urge all eligible social care staff to protect themselves, their families, colleagues, and the vulnerable people they care for and get a flu jab. Flu outbreaks can cause severe disruption to health and social care services in the winter months.

“For good health during the winter months remember that the flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus. It can reduce the risk of serious illness. Help us to Help You, by getting your flu jab.”

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For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk