Information for health and social care workers

Scotland’s Chief Medical and Chief Nursing Officers agree – healthcare workers should have the flu vaccine.  Don’t risk it for yourself, or the people you are caring for.


Five reasons to get the vaccine

1. It’s the best way to help protect yourself against flu this year.

2. It reduces the risk of spreading flu to your family, patients and colleagues who could be at risk of catching the virus.

3. Infected healthcare workers can spread their infection to their patients and family even if they have very mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all.

4. Patients with health conditions are 18 times more likely to die from flu than healthy people.

5. Even for healthy people, flu can be serious, making them feel extremely unwell and unable to carry on with everyday activities.


Who should have the flu vaccine?

It’s recommended that anyone who works in health and social care, and is directly involved in patient care, should have the flu vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • anyone who works in a GP practice, pharmacy or hospital
  • workers in paediatric wards, cancer centres and intensive care
  • those working in a dental surgery, social care or care homes. 


Why is the flu vaccine recommended for healthcare workers?

Healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus. Every year in Scotland, a number of healthcare workers get flu, particularly where there are flu outbreaks in care homes and hospitals. By getting the vaccine you’re reducing the risk of getting flu yourself, as well as spreading it to others.

You’ll also be keeping flu away from patients, who can be more vulnerable due to their health conditions. In fact, people with a compromised immune system are over 50 times more likely than a healthy person to die of flu. And people with liver problems are 80 times more likely to die.


Where can I get the flu vaccine?

Contact your line manager or occupational health department for details about getting your vaccine.


Is there more information available for healthcare workers?

Visit the NHS Education for Scotland website to watch a short film and find out why getting immunised against flu is important.

Remember, it’s very safe, only takes a few minutes and will last around a year.

Last reviewed on 29 September 2017

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