Flu vaccine uptake rate among WHSCT frontline workers lower than 50%

The flu vaccine uptake rate among frontline health care workers in the Western Trust rose last winter but was still under 50 per cent, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed.

In its first fortnightly flu bulletin of the winter the PHA revealed that the Western Trust was the only health authority were lower than half of its frontline health care workers got the jab.

Up until March 31, 2021, 46.2% of its frontline health care staff had taken the influenza vaccination. This was lower than the NIAS (77.3%), South Eastern (59.1%), Northern (54.8%), Southern (50.9%) and Belfast (50%) trusts. The average vaccination rate for the north was 52.4%).

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Flu vaccination uptake among health care workers in the Western Trust was the lowest in the north.

Although the Western Trust uptake rate was the lowest in the north it was well up on the figure posted for the local health authority in 2019/20 which was a very low 29.1%.

The Western Trust also had the second lowest rate of flu vaccination uptake among frontline social care workers at 38.8%. Only the Southern Trust (36.4%) had a lower uptake.

The uptake was higher in the South Eastern (48.5%), Belfast (41.8%) and Northern (40.1%) trust areas. The average rate for the north was 40.8%.

Once again the Western Trust did improve from the previous winter when just 12.1% of frontline social care workers got the flu jab.

As the 2021/22 flu vaccination campaign is ongoing no figures are yet available for the rate of uptake this winter.

The PHA says vaccine uptake rates for 2020/21 will be reported in the bulletin later in the season.