Free flu jab to cut council sickness rates

By on 31/10/2013 in Deputy Leader, News

flu jabBirmingham City Council staff are being offered free flu jabs this winter in a bid to protect frontline services and cut staff sickness rates.

In a trial scheme, up to 1,000 staff members will be vaccinated against seasonal flu over the next two weeks.

And Deputy Leader, Cllr Ian Ward, hopes the flu jab campaign will help cut the council’s annual sickness bill.

He said: “Similar schemes elsewhere have proved extremely effective and hopefully this initiative will keep members of staff fit and healthy throughout the winter, protecting frontline services and reducing the cost of absenteeism over the winter months.

“Flu can be a very serious illness and this is the right thing to do, not only to protect staff but also members of the public who come into contact with Birmingham City Council staff.”

If the initiative does cut sickness rates, it could be extended to cover more members of staff next winter.

Flu facts

  • For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery generally within a week.  However, older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying disease are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu.
  • Every year, hundreds of thousands of people may see their GP and tens of thousands may be hospitalised because of flu each winter.
  • Symptoms of flu can be very unpleasant and can last for several days - flu can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis which need hospital treatment.
  • Nationally, around 760 people were admitted to intensive care with complications of flu last year.
  • The best way to protect yourself, your family and your work colleagues is to get the flu jab.
  • Those who have long term conditions are among the most at risk from flu - if you're in an at risk group you are on average 11 times more likely to die than someone who is not in an at-risk group. GP surgery and make an appointment.

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