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Flu vaccination provides life-saving gift to at-risk children

Published on 07/12/2023

Get a jab, Give a jab, Save a Life campaign
Get a jab, Give a jab, Save a Life campaign

Caring staff from across University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) are helping to save the lives of thousands of vulnerable children around the world – by having the flu vaccination.

For every UHB employee who receives a flu jab, University Hospitals Birmingham Charity is making a generous donation to UNICEF – the international charity that provides life-saving vaccinations for disadvantaged children.

So not only are hospital workers protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their patients over the difficult winter months for the NHS, they are also extending the hand of kindness to at-risk children in far-off countries.

In the lead up to the festive season, already more than 8,300 UHB staff have had the flu jab as part of the Get a Jab, Give a Jab, Save a Life campaign, and will be protecting themselves and their loved ones at Christmas this year.

That means 8,300 vulnerable children will be given a vaccine against three life-threatening diseases - diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

The campaign will continue throughout the winter, so many more children will be vaccinated against these terrible diseases as more staff at Good Hope, Heartlands, and Solihull hospitals and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham are vaccinated against flu.

Internationally, UNICEF is helping to save up to three million children’s lives annually through its vaccination initiative. UHB staff flu vaccinations will help in that mission, which is aiming to put an end to preventable diseases.

Jonathan Brotherton, UHB Chief Executive, said: “Vaccination here at UHB and for our local population, is so important for our collective health and wellbeing; we see and treat the most vulnerable people in our communities, and we have to look out for each other.

“This year, I’m really proud that the simple act of having a flu vaccination, as well as being protective of ourselves and our patients, becomes a simple act of kindness. After all, preventing and reducing the harm from preventable illness is what we all want to achieve.

“With this fantastic initiative, very kindly supported by UHB Charity, we’re able to amplify that kindness.”

Championing this year’s Get a jab. Give a jab. Save a life campaign, Dr Rifat Rashid, respiratory consultant and Hospital Executive Director for Heartlands Hospital, said: “We all know how bad the COVID-19 pandemic hit us - flu pandemics are always a possibility too.

“As a respiratory consultant, I’ve seen the very real impact at the front line of infectious respiratory disease and many of our colleagues have too. This is largely preventable with vaccination.

“There’s never been a better reason to be doing the kind and right thing by ourselves, colleagues, families and communities.”

Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of UHB Charity, said: “All of the money donated through Get a Jab, Give a Jab, Save a Life, helps to immunise children in some of the most difficult to reach and at-risk communities in the world.

“Across UHB, we also have very vulnerable patients who need to be kept safe too. UHB Charity’s work always aims to go over and above for colleagues and patients across our hospitals. We hope that with our donation, staff vaccinations will have a monumental impact both here on the wellbeing of staff and patients, and for children overseas.”

NHS workers are more likely to be exposed to the flu than the rest of the population, and with such high risks to their health it is important they stay protected.

Protection following a flu jab can take up to week to fully develop, therefore a vaccine now, will keep healthcare workers and the public safer around the dining table at Christmas.

UHB staff can find out how and where to get the flu and COVID-19 booster where they work on the link below:

Members of the public can also book a flu vaccination on the link below:

You can find out more about UHB Charity on this link:

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