NHS leaders are urging nurses, medical doctors and different healthcare employees to have a flu vaccination to guard their sufferers this winter.
Susceptible teams, comparable to kids, pregnant girls and older individuals are additionally reminded to have their free jab.
Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, informed the BBC he was anxious about how employees would deal with a significant flu outbreak.
He stated the NHS was beneath “extreme and unrelenting” strain.
His feedback come following reviews of a much higher incidence of flu in the Australian winter and the chance that the identical pressure of the virus will probably be seen in Europe.
NHS bosses stated many individuals with flu confirmed no signs so healthcare employees may very well be unintentionally infecting susceptible sufferers.
Getting vaccinated was the easiest way to cease the unfold of flu and stop deaths, they stated.
NHS employees are supplied the vaccine free and NHS England may even provide it free to a couple of million care-home employees this winter.
It desires employers to report how many individuals do not get the vaccines – at some hospitals solely 30% of employees have the jab whereas at others it’s nearer to 90%.
Public Well being England (PHE) says it’s aiming to vaccinate round 13 million individuals in complete this winter.
It has expanded the nasal flu vaccination programme to incorporate kids from the age of two as much as and together with these in class 12 months four. Youngsters in reception yr can now get their vaccine in class as a substitute of going to their GP.
Sir Bruce stated: “Many individuals are very anxious that this winter will probably be notably troublesome – the factor that I fear about most is that we’ve got an outbreak of flu or an outbreak of norovirus which places an added pressure on the NHS service.”