Influenza season can be difficult in the workplace, just think about how many days of work your staff have missed due to illness. Influenza is responsible for huge numbers of absentee staff and lost productivity every year. Luckily there are a number of preventative measures that employers can put in place to reduce the impact of influenza includes corporate flu vaccinations.
Introducing corporate flu vaccinations can dramatically reduce the number of staff in your workplace that fall ill with the influenza virus and can help to keep productivity levels high throughout the season. Here are a few things you should know about how they work and why you need them.
What is influenza?
Influenza is a common and highly contagious virus that can spread between people through respiratory droplets. The act of talking, coughing, sneezing, singing or even laughing can contaminate the surrounding area and cause the spread of the virus. People who touch contaminated items can contract the virus and spread it to others. One infected person in the workplace can quickly spread it to others. Influenza season can run for several months, usually between April and October but people can catch influenza at any time of the year. It’s generally best to implement corporate flu vaccinations earlier in the year ahead of influenza season, February to March are ideal as this gives the shots time to take effect – it can take several weeks before immunity and protection from the virus are built up.
How serious can influenza be?
Every year hundreds of thousands of people in Australia suffer from influenza. Catching it can have serious consequences as it kills thousands of Australians on average each year and leads to the hospitalisation of thousands more. Trying to prevent the spread of the virus is extremely important.
What can be done to prevent the spread?
Corporate flu vaccinations are one of the most powerful tools available to help prevent the spread of the influenza virus. The influenza vaccination can help people to build up an immunity to the virus so they can fight it off if they are exposed to it. It can take several weeks for immunity to build up and so it’s a good idea to implement corporate flu vaccinations ahead of influenza season.
Do they always work?
Corporate flu vaccinations can be an excellent way to prevent illness, however it’s important to note that it is not 100% effective and that some people will contract the virus. For the people who do still contract the virus, it is often less severe and the risk of the virus being spread will be decreased. There are also a number of other steps that workplaces can take to try and prevent people from spreading the virus around the workplace.
Steps like asking people to cover their mouth, clean surfaces, stop equipment from being shared around and to ensure that tissues are properly disposed of can prevent the virus from being spread quickly around the workplace.
Why should employers run corporate flu vaccinations?
Programs in the workplace have a number of benefits for employers. Firstly it allow the process of immunising employees to be controlled and it makes it simple and easy for employees to receive their shots which can help to reduce sick leave and improve the number of people with immunity built up against influenza in the workplace.
Running these programs can show employees that employers care about health and safety in the workplace and also looks good in terms of corporate responsibility. Immunisation programs can be a great benefit and an attractive draw for top talent.