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Healthcare workers to get their FREE flu jab - and help avoid outbreaks this winter

In order to reduce the amount of people in Cornwall who get flu this year, care workers are being urged to take up the offer of a free flu jab to help protect themselves and vulnerable people they work with.

Cornwall Council is asking care homes to:

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  • Encourage ALL staff to take up the free flu vaccine – to protect patients and staff
  • Ensure that all eligible residents are encouraged to have the free flu vaccine
  • Remind visitors to stay away if they have flu-like-symptoms and when visiting to practice good hand hygiene to avoid the spread of infection.

Flu is very different to a normal cold and confines the fittest of people to bed. We know that for older people or those with long-term health conditions, the effects of flu can be much more serious, and in some cases even fatal.

Vaccination helps to reduce spread to the wider public and demand on the wider health system at a time when services are already under pressure.

As well as encouraging the flu vaccine, Cornwall Council are also sharing materials from Public Health England with care homes across Cornwall to help equip staff with tools and guidance on what to do if a resident falls ill with flu to prevent further illness within the home.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Steve Brown said: “We are committed to ensuring our community continue to be healthy and we are working closely with our health partners to ensure that care home staff and residents stay well this winter. In the case of an outbreak, we have strict protocol to ensure the virus is managed and affects as few people as possible.”

Jackie Dart, care home manager at Mount Pleasant House in Camborne, said: “Our residents are vulnerable and we know if they catch flu, the consequences could be much more severe than in a healthy adult. This is really distressing for the resident and their family, so we are encouraging all residents and staff to protect themselves and others by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine.”

For more information visit Cornwall Council’s website

Story posted on 13 December