Players from the Al-Ireland Senior Camogie team and the Chairperson of Galway Camogie visited UHG this week to launch the staff flu vaccine campaign.
Ms Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals welcomed the players to the hospital and thanked them for helping to highlight the importance of the flu vaccine for all staff working in the hospital.
“We are urging all staff to get their flu vaccine as early as possible so that they are ready to fight the flu,” she said.
“Getting the flu vaccine early can help stop the spread of the virus and protect staff members, their families and their patients.”
“The flu virus strains that circulate change from year to year so everyone working in the hospital here and in Merlin Park University Hospital needs to get a new vaccine every year.”
This year’s vaccine provides a broader level of protection than in previous years because it covers four different strains of the virus expected to circulate this year based on advice from the World Health Organization.
In comparison, the vaccine used in previous seasons only covered three strains of the virus.
Vaccine clinics will be provided at both UHG and Merlin Park Hospital and trained vaccinators will also be going directly to departments and wards to administer the vaccine to the extremely busy hospital staff.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for staff to get the vaccine and to fit in with their daily schedule,” Chris Kane said.
“It was fantastic to have two of the All Ireland winning team in the hospital today with the O’Duffy Cup. We really appreciate that they took time to visit us particularly given the other demands on their time.”
For the third consecutive year, the Saolta University Health Care Group has partnered with UNICEF to ‘Get a vaccine, give a vaccine’.
For every flu vaccine given to staff in any of the Saolta hospitals, including University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital, 10 polio vaccines will be donated to UNICEF.
In addition to staff working in hospitals and other healthcare workers, the following groups of at-risk people should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza: people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, anyone with a long term illness that requires regular medical follow ups, carers, and those in regular contact with pigs, poultry, or water fowl.
The HSE provides the flu vaccine free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups, as well as those with a medical card or GP visit card.