Another year, another flu. Most health workers know they should have the vaccine against seasonal influenza every year.
After all, many of them advise their patients to protect themselves against the disease and health workers are seen as a priority group for flu vaccination in most European countries.
But doctors, nurses and hospital administrators are only human. Some of them have the vaccine on time every time, but others put it off, forget or fail to find the time.
That is why health service employers are running campaigns to get staff to have their annual flu jab.
Liverpool Community Health (LCH), an NHS Trust in the north of England, has run a clever campaign urging staff to post pictures of themselves having received the flu vaccine.
The initiative includes posters of staff from across the organisation who explain why they are having the jab.
For some it’s simply about protecting themselves or their families. Others say they are conscious that their patients are vulnerable and may suffer complications if infected with the virus.
A team of practice nurses puts it like this: “We’re getting vaccinated because we believe we should practice what we preach.”
“The aim of our staff flu project was to develop an effective, behavioural insight-led engagement and communications campaign that would help convey key messages about the importance of having the vaccination to staff in order to protect themselves, their patients and their colleagues from infection, and would also support increased staff take up for the vaccination,” says James Brown, Head of Communications, Engagement & Marketing at LCH.
“We have continued the behavioural insight approach with other successful campaigns and are sharing our learning with other healthcare organisations,” he told Vaccines Today.
Meanwhile, also in the UK, the National Health Service is running a new campaign called ‘Jab Done’. It encourages its staff (the NHS is the largest employer in Europe) to have the vaccine and share images on social media using the hashgtag #jabdone.
The light-hearted campaign acknowledges that flu vaccination is not something health workers relish but is nonetheless an important part of their commitment to community health.
While the idea started with health professionals in the UK, anyone can use the hashtags to show that they have had their annual flu jab.
So go ahead and speak to your doctors to ensure you’ve had all vaccines recommended for you – and feel free to #ImmuniseYourSelfie or post a picture when the jab is done.