Almost 500,000 frontline NHS staff have now had flu vaccinations as part of the national NHS flu fighter campaign.
The new figures show over half of staff in England have been vaccinated and uptake is accelerating year-on-year.
Figures released by Public Health England show that 494,083 (53%) were vaccinated by 31 December 2013, 21% higher than the same time last year.
Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, which runs the campaign, said: “Our ambition has always been to make staff flu vaccinations the norm and there are exciting signs that this is happening. “There’s a really strong message about the importance of social media and good engagement. They are the reasons why so many more staff are getting vaccinated now than three years ago when the flu fighter campaign began. We’re seeing around 5,000 staff being vaccinated every day and every single one of those will help keep the NHS and its patients safe, especially in any event of a flu outbreak.”
GP surgeries, trusts and other organisations have received flu fighter’s wide range of support material and access to expert advice.
Staff flu vaccinations are not mandatory so raising awareness is crucial for combating the virus, which can be fatal to vulnerable patients and so disruptive to NHS staff and services.