Health staff still avoiding flu jab

JUST under 60 per cent of NHS staff in England had been vaccinated by mid-January despite urgings by Government.

Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies was among a group of leading doctors and nurses writing to NHS staff urging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help reduce further spread of flu.

Across the NHS, 59 per cent of staff have been vaccinated but in some Trusts less than 30 per cent are protected.

Statistics from the first week in January showed an 86 per cent increase in people newly admitted to intensive care (ICU) with confirmed influenza compared to the previous week. A total of 114 people were admitted to ICU with flu, compared to 78 cases at the same time last year and 35 in 2015/16.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director said: "The recent flu figures are a reminder that NHS staff should protect themselves, patients and their loved ones by getting vaccinated. We should have a measured debate about making this the norm for doctors, nurses and other frontline NHS staff before next winter."