NHS hospital nurses and midwives are being called upon to get vaccinated against seasonal flu as the end of the year draws closer.
Data collated by the Department of Health has revealed that those in nursing jobs are the least likely to receive flu jabs among UK medical professionals, which could leave them vulnerable to contracting and spreading the disease.
Only 30 percent of nursing staff accepted scientific advice and ensured that they received vaccinations last year, compared to 38.2 percent of GPs and 42.5 percent of GP practice nurses.
Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies noted that it is essential for the smooth running of the NHS that these staff members remain healthy throughout flu season.
"It is never too early to start thinking about flu. So as NHS staff return from their holidays, I urge them to plan ahead and get vaccinated," she said.
According to Health Protection Agency data, a total of 602 deaths were recorded as resulting from flu infections last winter.