Health workers who are least likely to receive the flu vaccination are nurses and midwives, figures have revealed.
In 2010, 30 per cent of nurses, including midwives and hospital nurses, were vaccinated, statistics from the Department of Health show.
Elsewhere, 43 per cent of GP practice nurses, 38 per cent of GPs and 37 per cent of other doctors were vaccinated.
The low numbers are despite a push by the government to increase the uptake, and comes after chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies criticised doctors and nurses for not taking responsibility and getting the jab.
She told The Times at the weekend: “Why we want frontline workers to be vaccinated is to protect them so that they can continue to do their service, (and) so they don’t infect patients who by definition are already vulnerable.
“It is very selfish not to be vaccinated. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for infecting my patients.”
Addressing health workers, she added: “You owe a duty to your patients. I don’t see it as responsible behaviour if you haven’t been vaccinated.”
Overall, there has been a rise in the number of health workers in England who took the vaccination. In the winter of 2010, the figure was 34.7%, compared to 26.4% in 2009.