Staff urged to get vaccinated against flu

Only 435 staff are required to receive their flu vaccination in order for Austin Health to reach its 90 per cent target for this year’s flu campaign.

“We’re sitting at 85 per cent – every year we have the same battle getting the final 5 per cent,” Clinical Nurse Consultant in Infection Control, Mia Brill, said.

“We also want to vaccinate 100 per cent of frontline staff, which is all clinical staff.”

This year’s flu campaign started as one of the busiest yet, with 430 staff vaccinated on the first day and nearly 500 on the second.

Usually about 300 staff are vaccinated in the first few days.

“I had never seen it so busy in my life,” Mia said.

Mia believed the threat of COVID-19 was a big motivator for staff wanting to be vaccinated early.

But it was just as important for staff to have their flu shot now if they hadn’t already, especially as coronavirus was still lingering in the community.

“Flu is always there and it’s out there still,” Mia said.

While the flu season has started off slowly this year, Mia hasn’t ruled out there could still be a rise in cases.

“It’s a bit hard to say but people are still taking precautions – they’re not coming to work with cold or flu,” she said.

“We haven’t seen any cases yet and I hope we don’t.”

The flu campaign runs until next month.

Staff can get their flu vaccinations at Clinic 1, Level 3 HSB, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

No appointments are necessary.