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Flu vaccination uptake amongst healthcare workers in England is below the NHS target of 75%. Reasons may include mixed views on the vaccine’s effectiveness, side effects and belief they are unlikely to catch or transmit flu. Andrew J. Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Paediatrics, provided an expert commentary on a recent study investigating this phenomenon.

"Lorenc et al. find that healthcare workers' (HCWs) perceptions and acceptance of influenza vaccination vary, and may undermine programmes to protect HCWs and their patients. The conclusion that has to be drawn from this work is that efforts to improve immunisation uptake must start with education about the benefits of influenza immunisation for HCWs themselves.

This is especially important since most are healthy younger adults for whom effectiveness of the vaccine is good. Perhaps studies which develop a better evidence base for the benefits of HCW immunisation to protect patients would strengthen the case for immunisation in our hospitals." 

 Further information on the research can be found here