Flu epidemic in kulmbach: a small spike with a big impact

Flu epidemic in kulmbach: a small spike with a big impact

An influenza outbreak like the one last winter, when staff at the kulmbach hospital also ran short after numerous illnesses, is not to happen again this year. Up to 60 employees from the nursing sector and numerous doctors were suffering from the flu at the same time and were therefore absent from work.

For this reason, the hospital has decided for the first time to offer its employees a free vaccination that can be administered during working hours. Because this offer is unique so far and could perhaps also develop a signal effect, the health department of kulmbach has also joined in. The state agency is campaigning to increase the vaccination rate not only among health care workers.

"Not tracked at all

To demonstrate that a flu vaccination is basically a small thing that can prevent serious aftereffects, district administrator klaus peter sollner now loved to be vaccinated against influenza with a quadruple agent by medical officer camelia sancu at the clinic. His comment: "i didn’t feel it at all."

Thomas banse is a member of the hygiene board at the hospital. He helped to prepare the vaccination campaign and supports it: "we have gone through a serious epidemic in the past year. Nationwide, we have had twice as many cases of the disease as in the previous ten years. That’s why we have resolved to be better prepared this year." this also includes the vaccination offer to employees, who as members of the medical staff are just as much at risk as the elderly or chronically ill.

100 registrations on the first day

According to banse, the hospital offers its employees three dates in october. Already for the first one the demand was rough. There are no comparative figures because this free service has never been offered before, says the doctor. But the number of employees who have been vaccinated against influenza in recent years has been around 15 percent. "Thanks to this campaign and, of course, the experience from last winter, we are expecting significantly higher numbers this year", says banse. For the first day alone, there were well over 100 registrations. "We hope to be able to vaccinate a large number of employees." but participation is voluntary.

Camelia sancu is behind the campaign. Every year, her office promotes participation in the flu vaccination program. Regular vaccination, says the head of the health department, is important because the flu virus is very malleable. "The virus can change its appearance every year and thus trick the body. That is why the flu vaccination is necessary every year."

Setting an example

The health department wants to set an example by participating in the campaign at the hospital and thus make as many people as possible aware of the vaccination.

The hospital’s employees were made aware of the vaccine through flyers and a letter summarizing the most important arguments for a vaccination. Michael ernst, also a member of the hygiene commission, is also fully behind this initiative. He feels that the fact that his colleagues can receive the vaccination free of charge and during their working hours is the right approach to improving the rate. "It couldn’t be simpler. Anyone can come and get vaccinated without a medical card." the number of registrations shows how well this campaign is received.

Initially 450 vaccine doses

Managing director brigitte angermann recalls the events of the previous year. "We have had very negative experiences with the flu epidemic. At times, we had more than 60 sick people from the nursing field. We have therefore unanimously decided in the hygiene committee to make our employees our own free vaccination offer. We hope that this will lead to a higher vaccination rate, because it will save our employees an extra trip to the family doctor.""

450 doses of the vaccine have been ordered by the hospital. This would mean that one third of the employees could be vaccinated. "Of course, we don’t know how many people still go to their family doctor to get protected against the flu." one vaccination costs ten euros, not including the personnel needed for it. All in all, it’s a good investment, says brigitte angermann.

District administrator klaus peter sollner had his upper arm pricked by medical officer camelia sancu with a beaming smile. He was happy to make himself available for the campaign. "I think the approach is good, the response is great. Last year, we were really hit hard by the flu outbreak. The flu had also led to a lot of absenteeism in the departments and businesses. If you can prevent it, that’s a good thing."

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