A bad flu year
It’s quite possible 2022 will be a bad flu year. Restrictions on who could travel to New Zealand and managed isolation of travellers arriving here means we’ve had very little influenza circulating in New Zealand for the past two years, so overall immunity is lower than usual. With international borders opening, we’ll see new strains of flu spreading in our communities.
The flu virus affects your whole body. Symptoms come on suddenly and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and stomach upsets. It can keep you in bed for a week or more. Getting a flu jab helps reduce your risk of getting the flu or, if you do get it, getting really sick or having to go to hospital.
Keep your staff well
We’re encouraging employers to consider funding vaccines for all employees.
Not only will you be helping protect Aotearoa, you’ll be keeping your staff well over winter and minimising disruption to your business.
Many people are eligible for a free flu vaccination (for instance over 65s and people with underlying health conditions). But for those who aren’t eligible, the cost of around $30 for a flu jab can be enough for them not to consider one.
One very important thing you can do is pay for a flu jab for your staff using a workplace vaccinator or your local GP. Pharmacies also offer a flu vaccination service.
A workplace vaccinator can come to your workplace to administer vaccines with minimal disruption. Often they can be scheduled to work around a company’s needs and timetables. The convenience of onsite vaccination will increase vaccination uptake of your employees.
You can also encourage employees to get vaccinated with the health professional of their choice and reimburse them afterwards.
Other ways to support uptake
If you are not able to fund the flu vaccine for your employees, you can help by encouraging and supporting those who are eligible for a free vaccination, to get one.
This includes Māori and Pacific peoples aged 55 and over, immunocompromised and pregnant people, as well as everyone aged over 65 years.
To help encourage flu vaccinations we have flyers and posters you can download and use in your workplace.