Health staff line up for their flu shot

Westmead Hospital held a vaccination clinic to protect staff from the flu.

About 780 healthcare staff lined up for their annual flu vaccination at Westmead Hospital today, as winter nears.

The staff who were vaccinated today brings the total Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) staff who have been immunised to more than 3,600.

This number will rise as the staff vaccination blitz hits Blacktown this Thursday, 16 May at the Medical Day Unit (level 3, old hospital building). Drop-in staff health clinics will also be available across WSLHD facilities throughout May.

People and Culture director Luci Caswell said flu vaccination is mandatory for staff working in high risk clinical areas, to protect patients, staff and visitors.

About 500 staff lined up for their flu shot at Westmead Hospital today, with another clinic to take place at Blacktown Hospital on Thursday.

“Thank you for helping to protect yourself and our patients from the effects of the flu this year,” Luci said.

If you are a WSLHD staff member, see the 2019 Influenza Vaccines intranet page for information about where you can get your flu shot.

Remember to take your completed consent form, Medicare card and mobile phone (to take a photo of your vaccination record) when you go to get your vaccination.

If you are a member of the community, free vaccines are available for those most vulnerable, including pregnant women, those over 65-years-old, and anyone with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The vaccine is very safe and cannot give you the flu.

Vaccination clinic staff carry an important message on their vests at the clinic.

WSLHD public health unit director Dr Shopna Bag said there are more than 9,600 confirmed influenza cases in NSW already this year. 

“Call ahead to your GP or pharmacist to get your flu jab,” Dr Bag said.

“One million flu vaccines have now been delivered across the NSW.”

The NSW Government has invested about $130 million in the 2018-19 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

Free flu vaccines for children aged from six months to under five years of age are being provided under the NSW Government’s $2.6 million program.

Experts have recommending sneezing into your elbow, washing your hands regularly and staying home when sick to reduce the spread of flu.