GPs and nurses urged to have swine flu jabs

GPs and nurses have been urged to have swine flu jabs by the bodies that represent them.

Vaccination of doctors and nurses against H1N1 will reduce the spread of the virus

The BMA, RCN and Unison have all issued statements after reports that there was an unwillingness amongst health professionals to become immunised.

Dr Brian Dunn, chairman of GPC Northern Ireland, said: ‘We would encourage all health and social care staff to have the vaccination.

‘This is not about vaccinating apparently healthy people. It is to minimise the number of healthcare staff from falling ill and being absent from work, which will ensure the health service can continue to deliver care.

‘Vaccination of doctors, nurses and other frontline staff against H1N1 will reduce the spread of the virus from healthcare workers to vulnerable patients.'

Dr Peter Carter, head of the RCN, said: ‘I would urge all frontline staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible. While most cases of swine flu are mild, nurses should be mindful of the effects on more vulnerable patients. Vaccination is a simple way for nurses to protect themselves, their families and their patients. Employers must ensure that staff have the time and opportunity to be vaccinated.'

Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing, said: ‘Unison, along with the DoH, has worked hard to make sure staff have all the information they need to make an informed decision, and we would urge them to take up this opportunity.'

Neil Durham

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