Vaccine the best defence against flu

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NHS Tayside Chairman Professor John Connell led by example by taking up the offer of a free seasonal flu vaccination.

Professor Connell was joined at Ninewells by Medical Director for the Operational Unit Dr Alan Cook, Consultant in Public Health Dr Daniel Chandler and Head of Nursing for Medicine and Cardiovascular Rachel Haddock, who also received their vaccinations.

All NHS Tayside staff and volunteers are encouraged to take up the offer of a flu jab at staff clinics and participating community pharmacies across Tayside to protect themselves and vulnerable patients who may be more likely to suffer complications from flu.

Professor Connell said: “I believe it’s very important that those of us working in healthcare, as well as people in at-risk groups, take up the opportunity to be vaccinated against flu. The flu virus can be unintentionally passed on to patients, relatives and other staff, and if patients are particularly vulnerable they can become seriously unwell.

“The best way to help protect our patients and stop flu spreading in our hospitals and our community settings is for all NHS Tayside staff and volunteers to take up the offer of a free flu jab.”

Dr Alan Cook added: “Hospital inpatients are some of the most unwell people in the country and if they get flu on top of their existing medical problem then it can have catastrophic effects. It is important that we do everything possible to reduce the chances of them catching flu, and one of those things is for NHS staff to be immunised to limit the spread of the virus. That’s why I’m getting the jab today and I know that thousands of other NHS staff are doing the same.”

The vaccine is also available free of charge from GP practices for people in at-risk groups, pregnant women, those aged 65 years and over and unpaid carers. For more information on seasonal flu please visit www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/flu