PA Knowledge Base

Get your flu jab!

The NHS is braced for a bad flu season this winter, following the worst outbreak in many years in Australia and New Zealand.

Flu is easily transmitted and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others so it is really important for PAs and carers to have the flu vaccination. The Dept of Health expects employers to protect their care staff and ensure they are offered the flu vaccination by their employer.

The following information was recently sent by Doncaster Council to all those who employ PAs through a Direct Payment:

What is Flu? 

  • Flu is a nasty viral illness which takes one to two weeks to recover from
  • Most people recover without treatment but in the elderly, or those with significant medical problems, flu may cause dangerous complications like pneumonia or even death
  • Flu can spread quickly and outbreaks can be very disruptive to communities and services

Why should PAs have a vaccination?

  • It can reduce the risk of you catching flu and transmitting it to your empolyer, your friends and your family
  • It helps protect you from the dangerous complications of flu
  • It helps prevent you needing time off work for sickness this winter

How can I get vaccinated?

You may be eligible for FREE NHS flu vaccination through your GP or Pharmacist if you are;

  • 65 years old or over
  • pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions
  • receive a carer’s allowance

If you do not meet the above criteria it becomes your employers responsibility to arrange and pay for your vaccination. Local pharmacists will provide the vaccine for a small cost (around £10)

Myth Busting!

  • We are all at risk of flu, even if we are in good health and eat well
  • You can pass the virus to others even if you have no symptoms yourself
  • Good hygiene and infection control measures are very important but cannot entirely stop flu
  • The flu vaccine CANNOT give you flu! The virus used in the vaccine is dead. 
  • The flu vaccine is very safe. Most people get no side effects. Some people might get a sore arm or achy muscles. 
  • The flu vaccine is a good tool but doesn’t work 100% of the time. If you’re really unlucky and catch flu after getting the vaccine your flu is likely to be mild and uncomplicated. 
  • The flu vaccine is different every year because the flu virus is always changing. You need to get vaccinated every year to stay protected against the new strains of flu going around.

FLU IS DISRUPTIVE AND DANGEROUS. HELP PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR EMPLOYER

Further information and advice

NHS Choices information on the full vaccines.