Calling primary care workers: get the flu jab

The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) want the federal government to look into mandatory flu vaccine policies to bolster vaccination uptake among health workers.

Less than 40% of practice nurses are vaccinated against influenza, with the GP rates only slightly higher.

ISG director Professor Lou Irving said it was time the government looked beyond educational or promotional programs.

“There is a role for government to show how important it is for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, and this could be done through a campaign similar to the one used by the UK’s NHS,” Professor Irving said.

A further concern of the specialist group was the attitude of many healthcare staff who appeared to think battling on while sick was best for the patients.

“It’s important to emphasise that when you’re sick, you shouldn’t be at work – viral infections can have serious consequences,” he said.