NHS superheroes take the fight to flu

Flu - Dr Aali

Staff are tapping into their inner superhero, as part of a campaign encouraging more people to have the flu jab this winter.

The Flu Fighters campaign features clinical and non-clinical staff posing as superheroes and taking the fight to flu. The images will be used as part of an ongoing campaign throughout the flu season which runs from October to March.

The campaign includes senior nurse at Northwick Park Hospital Tricia Mukherjee. 

She said: “We’re trying to have a bit of fun with the campaign this year and encourage more staff to get vaccinated. 

“The fact that we interact with patients everyday means we’re potentially as likely to pass flu on as catch it so it’s a sensible precaution.”

Ealing Hospital’s Dr Adnan Aali is also releasing his inner superhero to help combat flu. The microbiologist said: “I see how dangerous the flu bug can be every winter. It can have a huge impact on patients, especially on children and people with health conditions. 

“I’m asking colleagues to get their jab and the more of us who do, the more protection we offer our patients, our families and each other.”

The trust is aiming to vaccinate 75% of staff this year, compared to 53.4% last year when more than 5,000 staff were vaccinated. 

Staff are also being incentivised by the trust’s pledge to donate ten tetanus vaccines to children in developing countries for every person who is vaccinated.

The trust donated more than 51,000 tetanus vaccines last year via UNICEF which says the disease kills around 34,000 babies every year, as well as damaging the health of many more worldwide 

The Flu Fighters campaign is also raising awareness among the wider public to get the flu jab. The vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS if you:

  • are 65 years of age or over   
  • are pregnant 
  • have certain medical conditions 
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill  

The flu vaccine is also free for children: 

  • over the age of six months with a long-term health condition
  • aged two and three on August 31 2018 – that is, born between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2016
  • in reception class and school years one, two, three, four and five 

If you don’t qualify for a free flu jab you can pay a small fee to get the vaccine at your local pharmacy and national outlets, such as Asda, Boots and Tesco.

Chief nurse Barbara Beal added: “Flu is potentially dangerous for people struggling with their health and our advice is to always err on the side of caution. You will be doing yourself and the NHS a favour during our busiest time of the year.”