Why you should have the flu vaccine With a quarter of the healthy adult population exposed to flu each year, hundreds of thousands of people see their GP because of the virus. As part of the councils workplace health and wellbeing programme, which aims to help keep you well, all staff will be offered a free flu vaccination this autumn.What is flu? Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is a highly infectious illness, which spreads rapidly in closed communities, and even those with mild symptoms can infect others. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat and stuffy nose. Flu is far worse than a cold and recovery may involve up to a week in bed.What causes flu? Flu is caused by viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs. And because it’s caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.How do you catch flu? Can I avoid it? When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed. You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you can wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus. But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts. What harm can flu do? People sometimes think a bad cold is flu, but having flu can be much worse than a cold and you may need to stay in bed for a few days if you have flu. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu. For them it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.Am I at increased risk from the effects of flu? Even if you feel healthy, you are at increased risk from the effects of flu if you are: pregnant or have: a heart problem a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis or emphysema a kidney disease lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment) liver disease had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) diabetes a neurological condition, for example multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy a problem with your spleen, for example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removedbeing seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)How will the workplace vaccination programme work?This year we have made it easier for staff to receive their free flu vaccination, just follow these six simple stepsLocate your nearest pharmacy from the list at the bottom of this page of participating pharmacies.Check the pharmacies opening times Visit the pharmacy of your choice at a time that's convenient for you. Explain to the pharmacy that you are a DMBC employee and would like to receive your free flu jab. This includes Dudley Schools. Show the pharmacist your DMBC or Dudley School ID badge and confirm your details (Catering and School staff please see notes below) A qualified pharmacist will give you your flu jab.Catering staff – Catering staff who do not have an ID Card, should give the pharmacy their employee number (payroll number) and confirm which school they work in.School staff – School staff should give the pharmacy their employee number (payroll number) and confirm which school they work in. Please note Academy schools staff, are not eligible for this vaccination programme. NB) The free flu vaccine is only available to school staff that are employed by Dudley council.Please note flu jabs will be available from 7th October 2019.I am pregnant. Do I need a flu vaccination this year? Yes. All pregnant women should have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their babies. The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards. Pregnant women benefit from the flu vaccine because it: reduces their risk of serious complications such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy reduces the risk of miscarriage or having a baby born too soon or with a low birth weight will help protect their baby who will continue to have some immunity to flu during the first few months of its life will help protect any other children in the household. Talk to your GP or midwife if you are unsure about the vaccinationI am pregnant and I think I may have flu. What should I do? You should talk to your doctor urgently, because if you do have flu, there is a prescribed medicine that might help (or reduce the risk of complications), but it needs to be taken very soon after the symptoms appear.I think I’ve already had fluAs you won’t know which flu virus has caused your flu, you should still have the vaccination to protect you against the other flu viruses as soon as the illness has gone.Is there anyone who shouldn’t have the vaccination? Almost everybody can have the vaccine, but you should not be vaccinated if you have had a serious allergy to the vaccine in the past. If you are allergic to hen’s eggs or have a condition that weakens your immune system, you may not be able to have certain types of flu vaccine – check with your GP. If you have a fever, the vaccination may be delayed until you are better. Why should I have the flu vaccination? Vaccination isn’t just about keeping yourself safe, it’s about protecting your colleagues, your family and your friends. You can carry and pass the virus on to others without having any symptoms yourself, so even if you consider yourself healthy, you might be risking the lives of others.Will I get any side effects? Side effects are mild or often non-existent. The most common side effects are soreness around the site of the injection and occasionally aching muscles. These symptoms are a lot less serious than having the flu.Will the flu vaccine protect me completely? Most people who have the flu vaccination will not get flu. However, like any vaccine, it does not give complete protection. When the vaccine is well matched to the circulating virus strains, then around three-quarters of those vaccinated are likely to be protected. The rest may have some protection that could reduce the severity of their symptoms. How long will I be protected for? The vaccine should provide protection throughout the 2019/20u season.FAQWho can have the flu vaccination?The vaccination programme is open to all staff.I’m an agency worker – can I have it?If you are not entitled to a free vaccination from your GP, then we are happy for you to have a workplace vaccination.As a staff member, do I have to have the vaccination?No. The vaccination is entirely voluntary, but hopefully this information has explained why it is good for you to have the vaccination. NB) The free flu vaccine is only available to school staff that are employed by Dudley council.Will it hurt?The injection will take just a few moments and will feel like a sharp scratch. Your arm may ache a bit the following day. Is the flu vaccine is safe?The flu vaccine is one of the safest in the world. Seasonal flu vaccine is given to millions of people in the UK each year. The risk of having a serious (anaphylactic) reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine is less than one in a million: much lower than the risk of getting seriously ill from having the flu itself. If you have had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a flu vaccine before however, please talk to a clinician before getting vaccinated.Can the flu jab give you the flu?It is impossible to get flu from the having the flu jab because the vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses. A very small number of people experience side effects such as aching muscles, but this is simply the immune system responding to the vaccine.Why do I need to be vaccinated every year?You need to have a flu vaccine every year as the strains of flu, which are circulating change every year, so last year’s vaccine will not protect you.Does vaccination work?The World Health Organization cites clean water and vaccination as the two interventions that have the greatest impact on public health – vaccination works. Seasonal flu vaccines generally give 60–80 per cent protection against infection.Does a healthy diet prevent you from getting flu?Your diet could well be helping to boost your immune system, but eating well will not protect you from flu. The best way to protect yourself, your colleagues, your family and friends against flu is by getting the flu jab. I have never had flu, so why should I have the vaccine?You should have the vaccine because there is no such thing as natural immunity to flu and flu can kill.I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need another flu jab this year? Yes. The flu vaccine for this winter provides protection against some different strains of flu from last year’s. For this reason, it is strongly recommend that even if you were vaccinated last year, you should be vaccinated again this year.For further advice about the flu vaccine, including information for anyone with a long-term health condition, children and those aged 65 and over visit the NHS Choices website.NB) The free flu vaccine is only available to school staff that are employed by Dudley council.
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Safeguarding in Education
Safeguarding is about us working together to make sure that children, young people and adults are safe and protected, free from harm, abuse or neglect. Adults should also be free to make their own choices.We are committed to preventing the abuse of individuals who are vulnerable and we respond promptly when concerns are raised.