The Government implore social care workers alongside their NHS colleagues to take the flu vaccine to protect themselves, the people that they care for and their colleagues.
The flu vaccine is offered free of charge to frontline social care workers from a GP or pharmacy which marks an improvement in access to the vaccine. Last year the uptake from eligible NHS staff was 75%. A comprehensive assessment of the historic uptake of the flu vaccine amongst the health and social care sector has not yet been completed but it is estimated that around 1 in 4 employees in the sector takes the flu vaccine annually. The thinking behind the increased drive is to reduce the impact on those that are deemed to be at higher risk of contracting the flu. Not just in respect of deaths that may follow but also in respect of time away from working which could place an increased burden on social care providers to adequately staff their services during the pandemic.