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Flu vaccinations 2017-2018

Please see the following list of authoritative resources on flu vaccinations. If you are having any difficulties applying this to your role, please call us.

Find out about our current work in public health, access continuing professional development resources and join the public health forum at www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/public-health. See from Helen Donovan, RCN lead on public health, why immunisation is important for all nursing staff.


Introduction

The seasonal influenza vaccination policy is based on recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert advisory committee that advises all UK health departments on vaccination and immunisation programmes.

Annual flu immunisation is recommended for:

  • Those at particular risk of severe infection; the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. 
  • Healthy children within the identified target groups which varies slightly from country to country (see specific country guidance below). 
  • Those at most risk of transmitting infection such as carers and front line health and social care staff.
  • All health and social care workers with direct patient/client contact. 

Health and social care workers

Health care workers have a duty of care to their patients, and flu vaccination for health care workers with direct patient contact is fully supported by professional bodies like the RCN and British Medical Association (BMA). The RCN recommends that its members are fully vaccinated as part of their professional responsibilities to reduce the risks of spreading the infection to the people they care for.

The RCN acknowledges that annual immunisation remains the best way to protect against flu, and advises front line staff to have an annual flu vaccine to protect themselves and the people they care for.

Read the Blog: Protect yourself and your patients this winter


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General guidance

RCN clinical topic - immunisation

Public Health England publication Immunisation Against Infectious Diseases: The Green Book

RCN guidance Supporting the Delivery of Immunisation Education and a related competency framework.

The Public Health England website contains the following which are applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

NHS Employer’s flu fighter campaign operates in NHS Trusts and boards in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. In Wales see Health Challenge Wales' Beat Flu campaign.

The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical officer in England have issued advice on the prescribing and supply of antiviral medicines for the prevention and treatment of influenza. This can be located on the Gov.uk website.

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Country specific guidance

England:

Northern Ireland:

Scotland:

Wales

  • All elements of the annual influenza campaign in Wales (includign for health and social care workers) are supported by Wales' Beat Flu campaign.
  • Public Health Wales and NHS Direct Wales adult vaccination
  • Routine vaccination for influenza in children: see information for children including the eligibility checker tool. In Wales pre-school children aged between 2 and 4 will normally receive their vaccine in general practice (children must be 2 or over on 1st September 2017) and those in primary school, reception and years 1 to 4 are being offered the vaccine in school.
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Call the RCN on: 03457726100