Mackay Base Hospital staff will roll up their sleeves this in a bid to fight the spread of the flu this season.
Clinical Nurse Consultant Jenny Seymour said the aim was to immunise more 75% of the health workforce in the next month.
Staff are able to have a free vaccine each year to keep them well and ensure they do not spread infection to vulnerable patients.
Influenza is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.
Ms Seymour said each year the influenza vaccine reflected the circulating strains, providing the best protection against current strains of flu.
“This year will see the addition of a new A strain (H3N2) for the southern hemisphere influenza vaccine,” she said.
So far this year laboratories have confirmed 2293 cases of influenza in Queensland, significantly more than any other state.
“There have already been some cases of in the Mackay HHS with 38 laboratory confirmed cases,” Ms Seymour said.
In addition to the vaccine remember the importance of hand washing with either soap and water or alcohol based hand rub before eating and after sneezing or coughing.
“We also recommend people use a tissue and discard it after use rather than using a reusable handkerchief. If you are sick try to avoid public places and stay home to stop the spread of influenza.”
Queensland Health provides the following ‘at risk’ groups with free vaccine against the flu every year:
- People aged over 65
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 15
- Anyone aged over 6 months with medical risks such as heart and respiratory diseases.
Please see your GP for these vaccinations. The vaccine is safe for pregnant women and babies six months and older, as well as the broader community.
“For pregnant women the vaccine offers protection to their baby for the first six months of their life which is very important.”
Danielle Jesser, Media and Communications Manager
Phone 0417 756 221