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Why are vaccinations important?

World Immunisation Week

Getting vaccinated is one most effective ways to prevent infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio and tetanus. Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced. Read on to discover why vaccinations are important and how our hospital prevents infection.

The power of vaccinations

Did you know that the first vaccine was developed in 1796 and it was to fight the deadly disease smallpox? Smallpox was eradicated across the world in 1980 as a result of the vaccination. This just goes to show that vaccines prevent illness and can save millions of lives as a result. Vaccinations are the most cost-effective form of public health intervention.

When you reach the age of 50, and every year after this, you’ll be offered a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who also:

  • Have certain health conditions
  • Are pregnant
  • Are in long-stay residential care
  • Live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or having certain treatments for cancer
  • Receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

When you turn 65, you’ll be offered the Pneumococcal (PPV) vaccine, also known as the pneumonia vaccine which protects you against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections.

When you reach the age of 70, you will be offered the shingles vaccine to prevent this common, painful skin disease. Unlike the flu vaccine, you'll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.

Spring 2024 COVID-19 booster

It’s likely that yourself and those you love had the COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic which provided strong protection against serious illness, hospitalisation and death. The government has introduced a guide to the spring 2024 COVID-19 vaccination campaign which is eligible to certain groups of people. People aged 75 years and older, residents in care homes for older people, and those aged 6 months and over with a weakened immune system will be offered a dose of COVID-19 vaccine this spring.

There is also some evidence that being vaccinated will make it less likely that you will pass the virus on to others, which means your decision to get the vaccine also protects those around you.

Wellbeing of staff at Benenden Hospital

The wellbeing of our staff is imperative and as a hospital we ensure that our staff continually have good hand hygiene, are fully vaccinated and where necessary, they wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We take the health and wellbeing of our staff very seriously, it is at the heart of what we do alongside the care of our patients. Providing the annual flu jab to our staff is also ensuring we maintain our standards throughout the hospital through infection control.

Infection control at Benenden Hospital

Whilst not all infections are preventable, a proportion of healthcare-associated infections are. With that in mind, infection prevention and control and basic hygiene are at the heart of good management and clinical practice, and they are vitally important to the work we do at Benenden Hospital.

Our high-tech and methodical approach to infection control means we offer a safe, clean environment, with no cases of Bacteraemia or Septicaemia related to MRSA, and no cases of Clostridium Difficile (as defined by the Department of Health) - since 2002.

We always seek to ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to provide effective protection of patients, staff and visitors health from hospital-acquired infection, communicable disease and antibiotic resistance. Read our article to learn about drug resistance and how our patient journey ensures medication safety with the support of our on-site pharmacy service.

Find out more about our commitment to infection prevention and control.

Published on 25 April 2024