Employers are being encouraged to support staff in getting the flu vaccine

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Employers are being encouraged to support staff in getting the flu vaccine
22:26 Thursday 11th of October 2018

 A new health campaign, FluFree, is calling on employers to support their employees in getting the flu vaccine launched in Dublin today.

The objective of the campaign is to increase wider community immunity against flu by encouraging employers to assist and facilitate their employees in getting the flu vaccine.

Each year flu is a major issue for  Ireland’s healthcare system. Data from last year’s flu season indicates that almost 12,000 (11, 832) people presented to their GP with flu, with an average age of 52. There were 4,680 patients hospitalised due to influenza during the 2017/2018 flu season.

Flu can also have a significant impact on Ireland’s business community and economic productivity. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, an outbreak of flu can quickly spread to all employees and undermine a company’s performance and profitability. For many businesses, the flu season also coincides with the busy Christmas trading period.

A Canadian study found that employee absenteeism due to flu typically ranged from 5% to 20%, with higher rates associated with multiple flu strains circulating (as was the case last year).

Retail Excellence Ireland CEO Lorraine Higgins and Managing Director of Meaghers’ Pharmacy Group Oonagh O’Hagan joined the launch event to add their voices to the campaign.

Previous Irish data has suggested that the cost of losing productivity from staff being out sick in general, has amounted to over €1bn per annum (that’s around €818 per employee) which is damaging to the development of SMEs. Offering the flu vaccine to staff is surely a much more effective and economic approach to safeguarding your staff wellbeing and business.

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