Flu vaccination campaign 2022

We have launched our flu campaign to vaccinate staff working closely with patients. 

Why is there an annual flu campaign?​

This year, our flu campaign will be more important than ever as we try and reduce the risks of both flu and COVID-19.  

There has never been a more important time to make sure you, and those you care for, are protected against serious illnesses such as the flu.

Every year we see cases of influenza start to circulate in the autumn and through winter, and this year it is expected that fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are usually different circulating strains of the virus and so a new vaccination is created each year. The flu vaccination helps to minimise the spread of disease and protect those most at risk from flu and its complications. 

Symptoms of flu include:

  • high temperature 
  • headache 
  • shivers 
  • cough 
  • sore throat
  • extremely achy joints

The infection can be very debilitating even for those who are normally healthy. For some it can be life threatening. 

The flu vaccination is offered on the NHS for free, for those most at risk, for example over-65’s, pregnant women, younger children and those with a compromised immune system. It is also offered for free and encouraged for frontline care workers, for example doctors and nurses, who are looking after those more vulnerable and susceptible to the flu infection.

The Royal Marsden takes this very seriously and encourages as many staff as possible to be vaccinated every year.

How we try to prevent flu

At The Royal Marsden we offer the flu vaccine for free to all staff. By having the vaccine it means that staff will reduce their personal risk of getting flu, reduce the risk of our vulnerable patients contracting the virus and protect their own families, friends and colleagues.

Advice on avoiding flu

We would encourage all those in at risk groups to contact their GP or local pharmacy about getting a flu vaccination as soon as possible. The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter, before flu starts spreading and we start to see cases rise.

You can find out more information about this year’s flu vaccination on the NHS website.

 

Flu or false?

There are many myths surrounding flu and the flu vaccine. Find out the truth about common flu myths.

The flu vaccine gives you flu

False!

The injected flu vaccine given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it cannot give you flu. Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards. Other reactions are very rare.

The flu is just a bad cold

False!

Flu is worse than a common cold! Symptoms include a nasty chesty cough, high temperature, breathlessness, profoundly achy joints, sore throat, runny nose and extreme tiredness.

Our patients are immunosuppressed by chemotherapy or other cancer treatments are susceptible to flu. They are at a greater risk in developing serious complications from flu.

You don’t need a flu vaccine every year

False!

The dominant strains of flu can change each year and your immunity declines over time. Having a flu jab every year is the only way to ensure you have optimal protection against the flu.

Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated

False!

Even though flu can be more serious among the very young, older adults, and those living with chronic or serious illness, anyone is susceptible and it is highly infectious. Reducing the likelihood of flu infection through vaccination could help to prevent serious flu or flu-related deaths.

Having the flu jab could actually save your life.

I won’t get flu if I’ve already had COVID-19

False!

Flu and COVID-19 will co-circulate alongside each other again this year, and if you catch both viruses at the same time or one after the other you are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill.

If I take the precautions for COVID-19 I won’t get flu

False!

Hand-hygiene, surface cleaning, wearing a face-covering and not touching your face are all key in protecting yourself from respiratory viruses including COVID-19 and flu. But this cannot be guaranteed, so a flu vaccination is the best way of protecting yourself, your family, colleagues and patients.