Showing that there’s nothing better than leading by example, Manchester Council’s top bosses have rolled up their sleeves to back the city’s flu vaccination campaign.
Chief Executive Joanne Roney and members of the senior management team had the flu vaccination out of choice, even though they do not fall into any of the at risk categories.
They did this as a pre-emptive move to look after themselves and to avoid passing on flu to anyone they come into contact with. They also wanted to debunk the myth that the vaccination can give you flu.
David Regan, Director of Population Health and Wellbeing, said: “We need to make it absolutely clear that you cannot get flu from the vaccine or that it contains a live virus. If there are any side effects they tend to be mild and temporary.”
Manchester, like the other Greater Manchester boroughs has worked with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on a multi-media flu campaign. The campaign is part of a planned approach to keeping people well and helping to take the pressure off the urgent care system ahead of predictions about this year’s virus strain and effects.
In total there are one million free flu vaccinations available to people most at risk of flu this year across Manchester and the Greater Manchester region.
These people in the ‘at risk’ groups – people aged over 65, people with long-term health conditions like asthma and diabetes, pregnant women, people with a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 and carers.
Last year just over half of those people eligible for a free flu jab took it up in Greater Manchester, which is why the ten areas are now working together along with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to give more impetus to the messages around winter illnesses.
Specifically, the Greater Manchester flu element of the campaign will focus on two particular audiences – parents of 2-8- year-olds and people in the clinical at risk groups, in addition to those over the age of 65.
A nasal flu vaccination is also offered to children free of charge. Parents of toddlers aged 2 or 3 can get them vaccinated at their GP surgery. School children from reception up to year 4 receive their vaccination at school, which parents give their consent for.
Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney with nurse Michael Holden in the foreground and Dr Tok Hussain, Director of Healthwork Ltd.