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Doctors fear NHS could buckle in flu season as staff avoid vaccine

The NHS could struggle to cope with a catastrophic flu season after leading medics warned of plunging flu vaccine uptake among its frontline staff.

NHS figures show just 39% of frontline staff had a flu vaccine in November, down from 52% in November 2020.

The worrying statistics mean the already under-strain service could lose crucial staff to illnesses and risk spreading the virus during its busiest winter period.

Speaking to The Independent, Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said: “We are concerned about staff vaccination against flu. Post-pandemic, there is a certain lack of appetite and there is probably a degree of apathy about staff getting vaccinated against flu, and we think that’s a problem.

“We need to be doing more to get stuff vaccinated against flu.”

He added: “I think societally and as healthcare practitioners, I think we have a moral duty to get ourselves vaccinated so we don't create gaps by going off sick and we don't infect our patients.”

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Source: The Independent, 21 December 2023


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