STAFF at Queen Alexandra Hospital are being encouraged to get their flu vaccination in time for winter.
Employees at the Cosham site are also being asked to snap a picture of their jab to post on social media to share the importance of getting the vaccination.
Getting a flu jab means we become less of a risk to catching and spreading influenza this winter.Hannah Docherty
Hundreds of staff from across Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust have already had their flu jab in the first week of the campaign.
People working in hospitals, along with older people and pregnant women, are encouraged to get the vaccination.
This winter there are concerns about a flu strain from Australia, which has already led to 121 deaths, coming to the UK.
Hannah Docherty, matron for surgery at QA Hospital, said: ‘It is incredibly important that staff get their flu vaccination, particularly while working in a hospital environment. Getting a flu jab means we become less of a risk to catching and spreading influenza this winter.
‘As I am pregnant it was even more vital that I received the jab early, to protect myself, my baby and the people around me; especially as the vaccination can take up to two weeks to be effective.’
Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch and healthcare workers can run the risk of transmitting the infection, which can be serious for some patients.
A spokeswoman for QA Hospital said the flu vaccine should be offered before influenza viruses start to circulate, so the ideal time for immunisation is between September and early November.
Julia Barton, director of quality and nursing at Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership (South), said: ‘Flu can be a particularly unpleasant illness, however if you are usually fit and healthy, it should clear up by itself within one week.
‘For pregnant women, anyone aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions or children and adults with weakened immune systems, the risk of flu related complications is higher.
‘Flu strains continue to change, so a new vaccination is needed every year to ensure we are as protected as possible.’
‘The vaccine is offered free to at risk groups and their carers, but is also available for purchase for others.’