Not enough people get the flu vaccine. We need to improve take-up to protect more people from serious illness.
Flu can kill. People with lung disease are 7 times more likely to die if they catch flu than someone who is not in an at-risk group
This is why people with lung disease should get vaccinated. So should anyone who looks after someone with lung disease, whether that’s as a health care professional, or caring for a family member.
Flu vaccinations for social care staff
What this page tells you
This page provides evidence and information on flu vaccinations in social care staff. It checks progress against the Taskforce recommendation to:
Increase rate of flu vaccination among the clinical at-risk groups and front-line NHS and social care staff who have contact with patients
This will be measured through the following measures of success:
- Increase in the take-up rate of the flu vaccine among social care staff from baseline 25% to 100%
What's the story so far?
There is currently no data on flu vaccination rates for social care staff
Unfortunately, there is currently no nationally collected data on flu vaccination rates for social care staff. The most up to date estimates put the vaccination rates as low as 25%. When you compare this to the 74.3% vaccination rates amongst health care workers (2019), social care staff are far behind. Unvaccinated staff can potentially pose a major risk to the people they are trying to help.
It is essential that social care workers get vaccinated to protect themselves and those they care for.
Everyone caring for vulnerable individuals should see it as a professional duty to minimise the risk of passing on flu. Care workers look after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and it is important that they protect themselves and those receiving care against flu. We want to see 100% of social care staff receiving a flu vaccination each year. Vaccinating staff can help prevent this and has been shown to reduce disease spread and patient deaths from flu.
Vaccination also reduces sickness absences for staff who play such a critical role in caring for people with lung disease. Within NHS hospital and community health services, over 1.2 million working days are lost due to cold, cough and flu. Even if staff members do not feel unwell or show symptoms, they can still carry and spread the disease.
We need Public Health England to start collecting data on the uptake of flu vaccination among social care staff
Without regular data on the amount of social care staff getting their vaccination, it’s difficult to drive improvements. With better data we can highlight best practice across the country and help increase vaccination rates in areas where they are worst. With better data we can monitor progress and drive positive change.
We need Public Health England to start collecting and publishing data on the take-up of flu vaccination among social care staff.
If you give or receive care:
If you work in care or act as a carer to family or friends please ensure you get your flu vaccination.
If you receive regular help from social care and health care staff ask them if they’ve had their flu vaccination and make sure you’ve had yours.