Rochdale Borough Council is aiming to help reduce the spread of flu this season by vaccinating as many frontline staff who work with vulnerable people as possible. This year it is also offering the vaccine to other staff who wish to protect themselves, their families or colleagues from flu.
Council Leader Colin Lambert said: “As winter rapidly approachs we want to create a resilient population and workforce so we’re offering our staff a free flu vaccination to protect themselves, colleagues and people who use our services.
“We want to make sure that we’re in the best position to deliver effective and efficient services to our customers by having a healthy workforce, as well as providing the best protection to local residents.”
Vaccinations have been offered to frontline staff as a priority, including health and social care workers and those out in the community, who come into contact with vulnerable ‘at risk’ people. But the offer has now been extended to all council employees on a trial basis.
Wendy Meston, Director of Public Health, added: “Anyone can get flu and it is an unpleasant illness which can leave people feeling poorly for some time. For some people such as the elderly or people with other health problems it can be a very serious illness which can be life threatening. By having the flu vaccination we can protect ourselves, our friends and our family as well as the most vulnerable people in the borough.”
Health professionals are urging people who are deemed ‘at risk,’ and as such as are eligible for a free flu vaccination, to contact their GPs to make an appointment.
Groups that automatically qualify for a free flu jab include:
- People aged 65 years or over
- All pregnant women (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season).
- All healthy two and three year olds
- People with a serious or long-term medical condition
- People living in long stay residential care homes
- People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
The flu vaccine is an annual one-off vaccine which changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so people need to get a new jab each year for protection.
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