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Flu – it’s that time of the year again!

It always feels a bit unfair to get a cold during summer – we tend to think colds, and especially the flu, are for the winter months only. But even though the temperature may be in the high 20s, we need to be thinking now about our vaccinations to help keep ourselves and our staff healthy and productive throughout the year.

Most people in New Zealand get immunised in March, April or May for protection during the winter months, when the flu viruses are more common than in our summer months. But it’s never too early to get organised and plan ahead.

Some interesting data has come out of Australia and we can assume we aren’t too different in our behaviours and beliefs on this side of the ditch.

  • 62% of people have had a flu vaccination at some time in their adult life
    • 67% Baby Boomers (50 – 64 years)
    • 61% Gen Y (35 – 49 years)
    • 59% Gen X (18 – 34 years)
  • The primary motivation for getting the flu vaccination is for protection from illness (72%)
  • 11% are motivated by the greater good of not passing on the flu to others: this includes to family and work colleagues.

As far as sound business decisions go, there are few which give as good a return on investment as a well-run flu vaccine program. The success is defined by a reduction in absenteeism – real money in the bank, not to mention the ‘feel good’ benefits from the staff being and feeling cared for.

There is a large percentage of people who would be vaccinated if we could make it easy for them:

“I’m pro vaccination. I’m just not that proactive…

“I just don’t get around to doing it…something else always comes up or maybe I have a lot of work stuff going on…it’s just not a priority at the time…

“It’s just another imposition on my day…my time…even though it only takes about 10 minutes…

If we look at the risks to our business unit or business as a whole, unplanned absenteeism of a key person is often right up there with other major risks. So how can we reduce this risk, which in some cases may jeopardise an important contract? A simple flu vaccination costing around $25 drastically reduces the risk.

Yes, we will always have the ‘barriers’ – ‘I’m fit and healthy, I don’t get the flu’, or ‘I got the flu from the vaccine’ (impossible as it is not a live vaccine), or ‘flu is just a bad cold, it isn’t serious and therefore vaccination against the flu is not a necessity’ (this person has clearly never had the flu because with the flu one feels like one is dying!)

Hopefully people are getting better educated about these statements and realise the flu vaccination is very safe, very effective and a small investment which reduces both personal and professional risk by helping to keep us healthy during the winter months.

Keeping your staff healthy and productive throughout the winter months can have a huge impact on the bottom line, so we’ve made it as easy as possible for you – Life Care can come to your workplace to immunise your staff so there’s no need for time away at the doctors.

Get your team immunised – it’s a small investment for a great return.

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