The not-for-profit social enterprise, which provides NHS and Local Authority funded health and care services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and surrounding areas, is supporting UNICEF’s Get a Jab: Give a Jab initiative so for every vaccine given to a member of Sirona staff, three are given to UNICEF for children in developing countries.
The idea to link in with UNICEF was the brainchild of Debra Nicholson, Sirona’s Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist, and she secured funding from Sirona’s charitable arm, The Sirona Foundation.
Debra said: “The response from staff has been fantastic and we are close to donating 2000 vaccines to UNICEF as a result.
“We offer all staff the ‘flu vaccine to make sure we are doing all we can to keep them, their families, their colleagues and our service users safe.
“It is so important because having ‘flu, even for someone who is otherwise fit and healthy is a horrible experience; if you get ‘flu it is highly likely that you will pass it on to others and for those caring for others, protecting yourself means protecting them too.
“’Flu activity in the South West region is currently low but this is early in the season. This is expected to rise around Christmas time with a peak expected in January and February. The message is “ It is never too late to have your ‘Flu jab”.
“This year’s vaccine offers good protection because there are four strains included for those aged under 65 and for those who are over 65, it also includes an immune boosting agent.
“Thanks to the Sirona Foundation and our staff we will be providing Tetanus, Measles and Polio jabs for children in developing countries who would otherwise not get them.
“The campaign is going really well this year and we have ordered additional stocks. Around two-thirds of staff have either received the vaccination from us direct or via their GP.”
Sirona provides jabs to those who are housebound in its care and also works with partners North Somerset Community Partnership and Bristol Community Health to deliver the annual childhood flu immunisation programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
‘Flu jabs are also available from GPs and pharmacies.