Frontline NHS health staff in South Tyneside and Sunderland have been praised for leading the fight against flu by having a vaccination.
Since South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts launched their annual staff vaccination programmes last month, well over half of the workforce of more than 10,000 have been vaccinated - including chief executive Ken Bremner and other members of the Trusts’ joint executive management team.
The current uptake in South Tyneside is 60.5% and 61.4% in Sunderland.
Mr Bremner said: “Our annual staff flu immunisation campaign is an important part of our preparation for winter, which traditionally puts health services, particularly urgent and emergency care, under great pressure.
“The vaccination uptake figures so far are very impressive and I’d like to say a big thank you to all those staff who have had it.
“Staff are protecting their vulnerable patients, their colleagues and their own families from the virus by having the jab and, by protecting themselves, they stay healthy so they can continue to play their part in delivering services throughout the coming months.”
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director Dr Shaz Wahid added: “The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with a health condition.
“It is extremely important in the interests of patient care that our frontline healthcare workers who are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus through their caring role, have the vaccination.”