NURSES, doctors, porters and volunteers are among the NHS staff backing an Island-wide campaign to tackle flu.

The Protect Together campaign has been launched by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and Isle of Wight Council to reduce the impact of influenza on local people and healthcare services.

A vaccination programme for NHS staff was launched this week, with people working in a range of roles at St Mary’s Hospital and across the Island taking part.

Clinical staff have been trained to give the vaccine to their colleagues in the workplace, making it as easy as possible for staff to get vaccinated this year.

Alice Webster, director of nursing at the trust, said: “This year’s flu campaign will bring people together to reduce the impact of flu.

“We all share a responsibility to protect ourselves, our families and our community. That’s why staff from all over the NHS on the Island are taking part. We want to see as many people as possible protected from flu.”

Simon Bryant, interim director of public health at the council, said: “The flu jab is essential protection, not just for vulnerable groups such as the over 65s, young children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing long-term health conditions, but most importantly for the staff and carers who look after them.

“The virus can spread fast in hospitals and care homes and lead to serious complications.

“Maintaining a healthy and resilient workforce this winter by preventing the spread of infection is paramount.

"The vaccination is available free of charge from the NHS for eligible frontline workers. Make sure you book your jab early to get protection as soon as possible.”