Doctors should set example by having flu vaccine

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

June 7th, 2013

Editorial Board

wma2Health professionals are central to the success of immunisation campaigns. They can encourage patients to be vaccinated and set an example by having the vaccines recommended for health workers.

The World Medical Association, a global doctors’ group, has launched a new video as part of a campaign to increase influenza immunisation rates among health professionals.

Doctors go to great lengths to deliver the best possible care to their patients by following good hand-washing routines and using sterile equipment. Yet some ignore expert advice recommending flu vaccination for health professionals.

“Protect everyone you touch. Get immunisation against flu every year.” That’s the message the video has for doctors, many of whom work with vulnerable patients at risk of flu-related complications but who are sometimes unable to be immunised due to their illnesses.

Separately, the CPME, a group representing European doctors, has issued a new policy on childhood immunisation.

The document says doctors and other healthcare professionals “should ensure they themselves are vaccinated according to national schedules”, and must be more proactive about engaging with the public about immunisation – especially for infants and young children who are often the most vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. The value of communicating through online media is highlighted.

Read the full paper here