This year marks 75 years of the NHS. And we’re asking colleagues to help us celebrate by getting their staff flu vaccinations as soon as possible.
How to get your flu jab
Don’t let the flu crash our party. Get your flu jab as soon as possible via your peer vaccinator in the first instance.
Peer vaccinators are once again vaccinating so you can get your flu jab easily on shift. They’ll be out and about in wards, departments and community hospitals.
Drop in flu and Covid clinics
You do not need to book to attend a drop in clinic.
When you attend, you will be asked to fill in a form with personal details. You will also be asked your NHS number (but it’s not a problem if you don’t know it) and payroll number. You can find your NHS number online and your payroll number can be found on your payslip via ESR.
University Hospital of North Tees vaccine hub
Our North Tees vaccine hub can be found at the back of Tees Restaurant.
- Wednesday 29 November, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Thursday 30 November, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Friday 1 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Monday 4 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Tuesday 5 December, 10:30am to 12:30pm
- Wednesday 6 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Thursday 7 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Friday 8 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Tuesday 12 December, 10:30am to 12:30pm
- Wednesday 13 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Thursday 14 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Friday 15 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Monday 18 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Tuesday 19 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Wednesday 20 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Thursday 21 December, 11:30am to 1:30pm
University Hospital of Hartlepool
Unless marked a walkabout, the following clinics take place in the training room (floor 4, North & Yorkshire NHS Assessment Centre next to the Clinical Skills Lab)
- Thursday 30 November, times TBC, walkabout (flu only)
- Wednesday 6 December, 9:30am to 12pm
- Thursday 14 December, times TBC, walkabout (flu only)
- Monday 18 December, times TBC, walkabout (flu only)
- Friday 22 December, times TBC, walkabout (flu only)
Book a session for your team
Vaccinators will be available for walkabouts at other times. If you would like somebody to visit your area at a particular time/date to offer the flu jab then please email: [email protected].
Outside of the Trust
We know some staff need or prefer to have their vaccinations elsewhere, such as with your local GP.
If you’ve had your flu vaccination outside of the Trust, please let us know so we can update our records. Simply email [email protected] with the date you had the vaccine.
Why it is important to get your jab?
Working within healthcare, you are more susceptible to the flu virus and risk passing it on to your colleagues, your family and patients.
You can still be a flu carrier even if you have no symptoms and you have the best protection if you develop immunity before the flu virus starts circulating.
The most effective way to protect yourself from the flu every year is to have the flu jab.
Why am I being offered this vaccination?
It’s important that you receive the flu vaccination this year to help protect yourself and those around you.
Flu is an unpredictable virus that can kill thousands of people during a flu season.
The seasonal flu virus in circulation alongside COVID-19 would add to the winter pressures usually faced by our staff with more patients expected to be admitted to hospital with flu.
Getting the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster is more important than ever this autumn to help reduce hospitalisations.
Your health, safety and wellbeing is our priority. Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you from both these potentially serious illnesses – this is why I encourage you to get your flu jab and COVID-19 booster as soon as possible.
Why is it so important that I receive both vaccines this year?
Flu and COVID-19 can both be life-threatening and spread more easily in winter when we are more likely to be indoors or in crowded spaces.
As a health or social care worker, you will be caring for people who may be at greater risk from these viruses.
It’s easy to pass on COVID-19 or flu without knowing. Even if you’re healthy, you can still catch COVID-19 or flu and spread it to the people you care for causing severe illness which can lead to hospitalisation or even death. Getting vaccinated is the best way we have to protect yourself and those around you.
It is vital that we help maintain protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and flu this winter to avoid additional pressure on the NHS and social care systems during the busy winter period.
I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need to have it again?
Yes, because the viruses that cause flu can change every year. This means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year. If you had the flu vaccine last year, either because you were and health and social care worker, pregnant or because you’re in a vulnerable group, you need to have it again this year.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is your best protection against the virus. It will not stop all flu viruses
but if you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely that if you do still catch the flu the
disease will be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.
the immune response about two weeks to fully develop after vaccination.
Will the flu jab give me flu?
No. The injected vaccine used for adults does not contain any live viruses, so it cannot cause flu. Some people get a slightly raised temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, and you may feel sore at the injection site.
Are there any side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short term, lasting no longer than a week, and not everyone gets them.
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection
into the muscle of the upper arm.
Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:
- slightly raised temperature
- muscle aches
- sore arm where the needle went in – this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over
Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:
- continue to move your arm regularly
- take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it.
Is the NHS confident the vaccines are safe?
Yes – the MHRA, the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has said these vaccines are safe and highly effective, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
Can I have the flu vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
JCVI advice recommends that you should have a flu vaccine if you are eligible. You should have the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant to help protect you and your baby. It’s safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives. It’s safe for women who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.
Is the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster mandatory for staff?
No, having the COVID-19 or flu vaccine is not compulsory for health and social care staff, but helps to provide important protection for these individuals and those they
come into contact with.
Local employers will be working hard to ensure all staff can get the COVID and flu vaccines this autumn/winter, and we are confident that most of our staff will choose to protect themselves and those around them by getting the vaccines.
Flu myth buster
Some people remain reluctant to roll up their sleeves and decline the vaccination because they believe it will give them the flu or believe other misconceptions about the flu.
Hopefully by reading our myth-busting flu facts you will feel more informed and confident in getting your flu jab and staying well this winter.
The myth: Having the flu vaccine gives you flu
The facts: No, it doesn’t. The injected flu vaccine that is given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can’t give you the flu.
Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, but other reactions are very rare.
The myth: Once you’ve had the flu vaccine, you’re protected for life
The facts: No, you aren’t. The viruses that cause the flu can change every year, so you also need a vaccination each year that matches the new viruses.
The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration for the duration of the flu season that year.
The myth: If I missed having the flu jab in October it’s too late to have it now
The facts: No, it’s not too late. It is better to have the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, but it’s always worth getting vaccinated before the flu comes around.
Since we don’t know when the flu will strike, the sooner you have the vaccine the better.
The myth: I’m on antibiotics therefore I can’t have the flu vaccine
The facts: Yes, you can get a flu vaccine while on antibiotics.
The myth: The flu jab contains pork products
The facts: The flu jab does not contain any pork ingredient or gelatine and is ok for our Muslim colleagues to have.
The myth: I’ve had flu recently so I don’t need to be vaccinated
The facts: You need to have a flu jab even if you’ve already had flu recently.
Flu is caused by several viruses and the immunity your body has naturally developed after having flu will only protect against one of these strains.
Also, what you were laid low by might not necessarily have been flu.
The myth: Flu is just like having a heavy cold
The facts: While colds and flu share some similar symptoms (such as a blocked nose, sore throat, and high temperature), make no mistake – a bad bout of flu is much worse than a cold.
Colds cause more nasal problems than flu, while fever, fatigue and muscle aches are more likely and more severe with flu. If you get complications caused by the flu, you could become seriously ill.
Whereas cold symptoms normally develop over one or two days, flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely.
Cold sufferers usually begin to feel better after a couple of days while it takes around a week to recover from flu, although sufferers might feel tired for much longer.
The myth: I’m a health professional and I never get flu, so I don’t really need the vaccine
The facts: Vaccination isn’t just about keeping you safe and well, it’s about protecting those close to you – your colleagues and patients who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Just because you’ve not had flu before doesn’t mean you won’t get it this year.
The myth: The flu vaccine protects you straight away
The facts: It usually takes about 10 days for you to be protected against flu after you get jabbed so in theory, you could be vaccinated and then pick up the flu before you are fully protected.
That’s why it is best to get the vaccine as early as possible and before there are lots of flu viruses circulating.
The myth: flu vaccine will stop me from catching a cold
The facts: No, it won’t. The flu vaccine protects you again flu viruses. Colds are caused by other less serious viruses that are completely different from the flu.
You may well still get winter colds after getting the flu vaccine, but you’re much less likely to get flu itself. Flu is potentially a much more serious condition.