Flu Virus -Courtesy of cdc.gov
Flu vaccination may be the last thing on your mind. It might be the height of summer here and you may be sunning it on a beach but in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia is in peak flu season with already 300 flu related deaths. This year the flu season started two months earlier than usual after a mild season in 2018.
So you might be asking, should our employees receive the flu vaccination? You might also be aware of the common myths surrounding the flu vaccine:
Isn’t it just a cold?
No. Definitely not. The common cold is caused by the Rhinovirus. You might experience a runny nose, cough and be a bit under the weather but it certainly wouldn’t stop you working. Flu on the other hand is a different story. You often get an abrupt onset of fever, joint and muscle aches, cough, headache and it can you make you very ill; often enough for you to be off work for several days. Worse still, it can even kill previously fit, healthy, young adults and children.
Isn’t the flu vaccine only for the sick and elderly?
Previous flu pandemics have killed fit and young healthy adults and children. Healthy children continue to die each year in the Western world despite modern health facilities. So it is important that everyone receives the vaccine.
Well it never works anyway!
The flu is very clever in that it mutates (or changes) itself from time to time and so the vaccines we produce for each flu year must be specially manufactured to match the circulating strain of flu virus for that season. Despite this (we said it was a clever virus), it can still change again within the same flu season so that the vaccine is not 100% effective. Nevertheless, it does protect you and if you still get the flu then it is likely to be a much milder disease.
‘I don’t want the flu vaccination because it always gives me flu!’
This is also a myth. The flu vaccine contains the killed flu virus and therefore you can’t the flu from the vaccine itself. Once you have received the vaccine you might get very mild symptoms as your immune system responds.
Ok so I have had the flu jab, I should be safe now?
As we’ve have said, the vaccine works but because of the way the flu virus changes all the time, it is not 100% effective. You will be much safer following vaccination and less likely to spread it to your loved ones, friends and work colleagues
Why you should consider flu vaccination for your employees:
Hopefully we’ve busted a few myths and that should make it easy for you to answer this question but if that wasn’t enough, here are some more reasons:
- Employees can be off sick for several days with Flu
- They can spread flu to other colleagues
- Reduced staff puts extra pressure on existing staff risking further sick leave
- Your business or service will be affected
- You may lose revenue and/or Brand reputation
Travel Klinix is a highly regarded, specialist clinic offering flu vaccination for businesses, schools and organisations. We can come to your business or if you prefer we can offer flu vouchers for you to purchase so that your employees can attend our clinic. We are easy to get to and offer free off-road parking.
Dr Ravi Gowda
Consultant in Infectious Diseases