We are 2 months into the seasonal flu campaign for 2019/2020 and Peer Vaccinators and Occupational Health Departments continue to encourage staff to get the Flu vaccine.
There is also a great buzz on social media where people are sharing their flu clinic schedules and encouraging healthcare workers to get vaccinated. Santa even got in on the action in Cavan Hospital last week.
We have seen great competition between Eist Linn and Linn Dara in Cork to see who will have the best uptake in the 2019/2020 seasonal flu campaign. It’s pretty tight at the moment and great to see the uptake grow after each vaccination clinic.
This season the Saolta hospital group is again working with UNICEF to donate 10 polio vaccines for each flu vaccine that was given to a staff member.
For the last 2 seasons Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda has achieved the highest uptake for the seasonal flu vaccine for an acute hospital setting with 84.8% of staff vaccinated in the 2018/2019 seasonal flu campaign. Martin Smith is the lead Peer Vaccinator and has worked hard with his team to ensure anyone who wants to get the flu vaccine can get it, with flu clinics available anywhere, at any time. Thanks to the high uptake in the 2018/2019 flu season Our Lady of Lourdes had no outbreaks of flu in their hospital.
Another hospital who improved their uptake during the 2018/2019 season was the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore. They worked with Sean Treacy who ended up in intensive care after he contracted flu to create a video sharing his story and encouraging staff to get vaccinated. The video is available to watch here.
One of the highest uptakes in a long term care facility in the 2018/2019 seasonal flu campaign was St Patricks Hospital in Waterford, they achieved this uptake by having 8 peer vaccinators who went to the wards and gave the flu vaccine to staff while they were on duty. Managers also began promoting the flu vaccine. Thanks to an increased uptake in flu vaccine there has been no outbreaks for 2 years.
We are now well into flu season. The number of cases of Seasonal flu has now gone over the threshold which means that flu is circulating and spreading in Ireland. Three people have already died from flu this season. We spoke to Dr Chantal Migone, Specialist in Public Health Medicine from the National Immunisation Office about the plans for the rest of the seasonal flu campaign. “We have worked with HSE communications to develop animations to support the important messages about getting the flu vaccine for at risk groups like people living with chronic conditions like cancer, pregnant women and healthcare workers.”
“We are encouraging those who have not yet been vaccinated to get their Flu vaccine now. It’s not too late and getting the flu vaccine now will protect you, your family, your patients and your colleagues from flu. As the HSE tagline says this year “Don’t let the flu get to you”.
Visit hse.ie/flu for the facts about Influenza and to see why it’s important to get the flu vaccine each season. Its #YourBestShot for preventing flu.