A CAMPAIGN has been launched to get as many NHS staff vaccinated against seasonal flu this winter as possible.
Hospital trusts across the North-East, including NHS North Tees and Hartlepool, are taking part in a drive to increase the number of staff having the free annual flu jab.
The aim is to help protect patients as well as colleagues and relatives and to dispel myths about the vaccination, including there being nasty side effects and the jab being unsafe.
Last year, only 37 per cent of North East NHS staff protected themselves against the illness.
Now NHS North East organisations hope to increase this to 60 per cent this winter.
The deputy medical director at NHS North East, Dr Tricia Cresswell, said: “NHS staff across the North East are passionate about delivering the very best patient care and I cam confident they will be eager to protect themselves from flu and prevent the virus from spreading to patients in their care who are at their most vulnerable.
“Unfortunately we know there are still so many universal myths about vaccinations that even NHS staff can be deterred from having them.
“The priority of this campaign is to bust the myths about the free and safe flu vaccine.”
The director of the NHS Employers organisations, Dean Royles said: “We are delighted to have the support of North-East NHS Organisations for this staff flu vaccination campaign.
“Everything the NHS does is about delivering excellent patient care and it is easy to forget that staff must look after their own health too.
“We wish all North-East trusts every success in this important effort to protect patients and staff this winter.”