This year is not a typical year. On average, flu kills over 11,000 people each year and hospitalises many more. The potential impact of flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time this year has the potential to take many more lives.
‘Protect yourself, your family and our patients from flu this winter’ is the theme for the seasonal influenza campaign this year and with the current uptake of the flu vaccine anecdotally being reported by social care managers as low among their staff, what can you do to drive the uptake of the flu vaccine? Here are some top tips to encourage your staff to have the vaccine.
- Use a variety of different approaches to increase uptake.
- Assign a dedicated member of staff e.g. a Flu Champion who has responsibility for managing your flu campaign.
- Communicate your campaign to all your team, use team meetings, notes on payslips, handover sessions, 1:1 sessions, as an opportunity to reinforce the importance.
- Make it easy to have the vaccine, in care homes arrange sessions for staff, in the community work with community pharmacists, give staff time off to have the vaccine. Remind them it’s free!
- Use high profile managers or staff representatives to promote the vaccine.
- Challenge the myths and barriers to vaccination.
- Audit and monitor the up take to prepare for next year’s campaign.
- Keep the Capacity Tracker up to date.
- Use external Public Health England Flu Resources to engage staff. Examples include; A Toolkit For Care Homes, a PHE poster, a useful NHS video link called Flu can be fatal.
- Finally, appeal to your team’s caring nature, having the vaccine will:
- Protect the people they care for
- Protect themselves and their families
- Protect their co‑workers