NHS workers ‘Jab for a jab’ campaign across Brent is saving the lives of African babies

The Get a Jab, Give a Jab campaign allows London North West Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH) to buy 10 tetanus vaccines for every staff member who has the flu jab this winter.

In the first two weeks of the trust’s flu campaign, more than 1,800 members of staff have had their flu jab.

This means more than 18,000 tetanus vaccines have already been purchased.

Bought through Unicef, the international children’s charity, vaccines will protect children in Africa against neonatal tetanus, a deadly disease affecting populations with little or no access to basic healthcare services and education.

“Needlephobic” Helen Rowlandson, a senior pharmacist, volunteered to get the jab this year.

She said: “I had the flu jab for the first time last year.

“The reason that I didn’t have the flu jab before is that I’m quite needle-phobic, I really don’t like needles.

“I thought I’m young and healthy, and if I got flu, I might be very ill for a while, but I’d probably recover. What changed my mind was thinking that for me, working in a hospital, I might be able to get over the flu, but the patients I’m seeing every day might not be able to.

“We’re supposed to be there to help patients, but if I didn’t get the flu vaccine and passed on flu, I’d be doing them a disservice.”

Amanda Pye, chief nurse at LNWH, said: “Flu is a nasty and potentially life-threatening virus, especially for the vulnerable people we care for at our hospitals and community services.

“As healthcare professionals we have a responsibility to do all we can to protect ourselves, our families and our patients, and I am really proud of all our staff who have had their flu jab to date.

“They are not only protecting themselves and those close to them in this country; they are also protecting vulnerable young lives across the world.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said: “The harsh reality is that flu can kill.

“The best way to protect yourself is to get the jab. With more people eligible than ever before and the vaccine available in more locations, people should protect themselves and those around them from flu.

“It could save your life this winter.”