Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Vaccine Fatigue Contributing to Drop in NHS Staff Uptake of Flu Shot, Reports Nottinghamshire Trust

A decline in flu vaccination among NHS workers at a Nottinghamshire trust has been attributed to what health bosses are calling “vaccine fatigue.”

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), fewer than three in five workers at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust received the flu vaccine this winter. This is well below the national NHS target of 80%, with only 43% of workers getting vaccinated.

Health bosses at the trust, which manages King’s Mill Hospital, Newark Hospital, and Mansfield Community Hospital, stated that multiple vaccinations among staff were a significant factor contributing to the decline. Robert Simcox, the director of people at the trust, cited “vaccine fatigue” as a primary reason for the drop in uptake, explaining that many staff members had experienced feeling unwell after receiving multiple vaccines in the past.

Accessibility was also identified as a challenge, with Simcox emphasizing the importance of making vaccinations more convenient for staff. He suggested providing more opportunities for staff to get vaccinated during their working hours, as it was more accessible during the pandemic.

Moreover, recent mild flu seasons might have led to a sense of complacency among healthcare workers, according to the LDRS. Claire Ward, chair of the trust’s board, stressed the importance of communicating the significance of vaccination to healthcare workers, emphasizing that it shouldn’t take a severe flu season to increase vaccination rates.

It’s worth noting that all frontline healthcare and social workers are eligible for the flu vaccine through their employer, and it is recommended that they get vaccinated annually, as the vaccine is updated to combat the prevalent strains each year.

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