NHS appeals for people to receive free flu jabs have inspired Salford health and social care staff to incentivise the jabs with £100 shopping vouchers.

Salford Together hopes to entice those vulnerable to the flu to get their jabs by asking them to take part in spreading the message by having their photo taken and published on Twitter, with a random winner selected from the posts.

Influenza is common during winter months, with many admitting themselves to hospitals as a result of feeling unwell.

A spokesperson for Salford Together, which brings the council and NHS services together to promote public wellbeing, said: “We encourage people to take part in this light-hearted exercise – sharing photographs to friends and family but with a serious message behind the exercise to encourage everyone to do their bit for Salford.”

“We hope that anyone eligible for the free jab will take part to spread the incentive through twitter, as most people would find £100 shopping vouchers a welcome bonus this time of year.”

Although the jab has received criticism in the past, some health professionals claim it is a useful tool for survival for those susceptible to the illness or vulnerable to complications.

Val Cain, a Greater Manchester nurse, said: “The problem isn’t the flu, most people are vulnerable to complications leading to community acquired pneumonia.”

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) refers to pneumonia (any of several lung diseases) contracted by a person with little contact with the healthcare system.

Mrs Cain said: “People usually get over the flu, but those more susceptible who have compromised immune systems such as the elderly, the very young and asthmatics can get pneumonia as a result which leads to other people in hospitals also being at risk of the illness.”

Not only does the vaccination keep people healthy, it helps the NHS run more efficiently.

Mrs Cain also said: “That’s why the NHS are so eager to get people the flu jab, to keep beds available for more serious and unavoidable illnesses.”

For further information on the free vaccination and to check whether you are eligible or not, check here.

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