Beat the flu


This winter we're asking you to help us beat the flu.


Influenza (flu) is a virus that infects the respiratory system, and the spread of the it within health care settings is a huge concern.

Due to repeated exposure of the virus, one in four health care staff is estimated to be infected in any flu season. We know that health care staff transmit the virus and, as a result, put their patients at risk of developing serious complications from the flu. 

People die from flu every year. Even those who were previously healthy can develop severe complications, including bronchitis, secondary bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and encephalitis; the risk is even higher in those who have other illnesses, the elderly and pregnant women.

The vaccine

The flu vaccine is effective in preventing the serious complications of influenza and in helping to stop it spread. This could be the difference between life and death. The vaccine cannot give you flu, although it can make your arm feel a bit sore and sometimes cause a slight temperature. Other reactions are very rare.

The antibodies that protect you from flu decline over time, and flu strains can also change from year to year, so you need an updated vaccination against the virus every year. 

Health care staff and students

All front line health care staff and nursing students should get the vaccine because it is one of the safest and easiest ways of protecting yourself and your patients. You will also help keep vital services operating in the winter months and instill best practice on the health care professionals of the future.

That’s why we’re calling on RCN members to get vaccinated and help beat the flu this winter.

Person holding a mobile phone

#BeatTheFlu Twibbon

Help us spread the word about the flu vaccine to your colleagues.

Add our 'Beat The Flu' Twibbon to your social media profiles.

Beat the flu poster

Myth busting poster

It's important that RCN members are equipped with the right knowledge to educate their patients about the flu vaccine.

Download our myth busting poster to put in your workplace to make sure colleagues know their myths from their facts. 

Flu advice and resources

Advice and resources

Nursing teams are instrumental in leading the delivery of the flu vaccination programme from occupational health teams through primary care and school nursing services. 

Check out our advice guide which links to the most up to date resource, guidance and advice to support the delivery of quality services. 

Page last updated - 23/12/2019