PEOPLE vulnerable to catching flu this winter are being encouraged to get the vaccination – and a hospital team has created a song to help spread the message.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, is reminding those eligible to get the vaccination to have it done now.
Over the past few weeks, staff have been signing up to get the jab to protect themselves in the coming months.
It comes as Portsmouth had one of the highest flu rates in the UK last winter with more than 500 patients treated for the infection. A number of QA Hospital employees were also off sick with the illness.
Groups who can get the flu vaccination for free on the NHS include those aged over 65, pregnant women, children aged two to 10 and children and adults with health conditions like heart disease or respiratory illnesses.
People who are not eligible to have it done for free can pay.
Asda offers the cheapest price of £7 while Superdrug are charging £9.99 and Tesco £10.
People who use Lloyds pharmacies will have to pay £11.50 and Boots is charging £12.99 for the vaccine.
GP practices and some pharmacies offer the service, including the free vaccination, and midwives can do it for pregnant women.
The song, created by QA Hospital’s respiratory team, includes all the information and is available to watch on YouTube. They rewrote the lyrics to Take That’s It Only Takes a Minute, Girl.
Some the lyrics include ‘it only takes a little germ for each of you to catch the flu’ and ‘there is something we can do to help avoid the awful flu, keep tissues by your bed and then those nasty germs won’t spread’.
Bev Vaughan, interim matron, said: ‘Flu season is the respiratory service’s busiest time of the year and we see a massive increase in admissions related to flu.
‘The song and our video are really about canvassing members of the public about the importance of getting their flu jabs.
‘It is also about making sure the hospital’s staff are aware of how important getting their flu jab is, not only for their health, but for the health of our patients.’
Influenza is a highly transmissible infection and can be passed on even if someone has mild symptoms.
This year NHS staff are being offered the quadrivalent vaccine which has been identified by Public Health England as most effective for people aged under 65.
John Knighton, medical director, said: ‘Thank you to all of our staff who have had their flu vaccinations.
‘To those that haven’t yet, it is really important that you do so as early as possible to protect those in your care, yourself and your loved ones.’