PA Knowledge Base

Flu jabs for Personal Assistants

As of May 2016 it is expected that all front line care staff be offered the flu vaccination by their employer. We’ve collated some information about it which will hopefully be of use.

Why PAs are offered vaccination

  • Reducing your chance of catching flu means you’re less likely to pass it onto any employers who may be more susceptible to its effects.
  • It reduces the risk of you needing time off work.
  • For some people the vaccination doesn’t work. Making sure more people are vaccinated reduces the risk of those people contracting flu.

How you can get vaccinated

Anyone who has a pre-existing health condition, is over 65, pregnant or who works a carer will be able to access a free NHS Flu vaccination through their GP or local community pharmacy. As a carer you should qualify.

If you have not yet been vaccinated and are not able to use one of the options above, Public Health at Doncaster Council may be able to offer support. You will therefore need to contact them.

  • Email: publichealthenquiries@doncaster.gov.uk or
  • Phone: 01302 734798 by no later than Monday 5 December 2016

Someone will then be in touch to link you with a local pharmacy who will be able to offer the flu vaccination. There is limited availability of flu vaccinations so they will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

For those who do not meet the above criteria, flu vaccinations can be obtained through many pharmacies for a small charge.

Misconceptions

Misconceptions about flu vaccine are common. Front line care staff should be aware that:

  • Getting vaccinated against flu can help protect us, our employers and our families.
  • We are all susceptible to flu, even if we are in good health.
  • Front line care staff are in frequent contact with people who might be particularly vulnerable to the effects of flu.
  • You can be infected with the flu virus and show no symptoms, but can still pass the virus to others.
  • Good hygiene and infection control measures are also essential. They reduce the spread of flu and other acute respiratory infections, but good hygiene alone isn’t sufficient for preventing flu.
  • The impact of flu on frail and vulnerable patients can be fatal, and outbreaks of the virus can cause severe disruption in communities, care homes and hospitals.
  • The flu vaccine has a good safety record and will help protect you.
  • The flu vaccine cannot give you flu.

Further reading