Workplace Flu Vaccinations

Don’t let the Flu get you!
Flu Vaccines 2021 - Message from the Ministry of Health

The 2021 flu vaccination programme is an important priority for the Ministry of Health. There is an ongoing public health risk of flu to New Zealand even with the current border restrictions. Any increased travel across the border, for example as a result of ‘safe travel zones’ will also increase the risk of flu being imported into New Zealand.

Therefore, ongoing population protection using the annual seasonal flu vaccine is paramount to protect population health, especially due to frequent changes in the flu viruses circulating overseas and reductions in immunity to them over time.

Studies show that the impact of the Flu hitting a workplace has real and significant costs.


  • Interrupted customer service
  • Lost sales
  • Missed deadlines
  • Temporary staff hire costs due to absenteeism
  • Reduced productivity when staff stay at work sick

The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways a business can help protect itself from the costs of winter staff illness. International studies have shown significant cost savings with a workplace flu vaccination programme, reducing absenteeism, doctors visits, as well as lower productivity at work.

Some points worth noting…


  • Being fit and healthy does not stop you from catching the flu – it is easily spread and anyone can catch it.
  • 20% of people catch the flu each year, and a number of those still turn up to work, often unaware they have caught the virus. They then pass it on to their co workers and families.
  • The flu virus changes each year so annual vaccination is required.
  • Vaccination is the best protection against the flu and reducing its impact.

Remember vaccination protects not only the person vaccinated, but the people around them who may be more vulnerable. The elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with low immunity are at high risk of dying from the flu.

Flu Myth Busters

There are many myths circulating about Influenza and the Flu vaccine.
Here are some of the more common ones:
“Healthy people don’t need the Flu vaccine.”

Anyone can catch the Flu. Being fit and healthy does not protect you. Influenza spreads very easily and up to 1 in 5 people still get influenza every year. By having the vaccination you can protect yourself & reduce the chance of bringing it home to a baby, an older relative or someone with a medical condition who could become seriously ill from the Flu.

“The vaccine can give you the Flu.”

It is not possible to get the Flu from the Flu vaccine. The vaccine is made from broken down parts of viruses. These are not live viruses, and are not infectious. They can’t cause the Flu. If you feel sick after the vaccination the possible causes may be:

  • There are many viruses around at the same time as the Flu virus. You can get sick from different viruses.
  • The vaccine takes 2 weeks to take effect, so you may have already caught the Flu virus.
  • Any vaccine has possible side effects. These can include: redness and soreness at the injection site, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. These side effects can start 6-12 hours after your vaccination, and may last up to 2 days. This often gets confused with the Flu.
  • “The viruses are different each year, so the vaccine doesn’t work”

    Each year the World Health Organisation studies the different strains of the Flu around the world. They then develop vaccines to match the strains that are most likely to be circulating during our New Zealand winter season.

    “You can still get the Flu even if you have the vaccine”

    The vaccine is about 80% effective in protecting against the Flu. The vaccine doesn’t protect against coughs and colds. Often people confuse these with the Flu.

    “I’ve had the Flu before, so I don’t need the vaccine”

    Each year the Flu virus changes, so you need to be vaccinated each year to keep up with the changes.

    “The Flu is no worse than a cold”

    The Flu is a severe illness, sometimes requiring hospitalisation. A cold is mild and lasts a few days.

  • Severe illness lasting 7-10 days.
  • Usually a high fever
  • Shivering attacks
  • Muscular Pains
  • Headache (may be severe)
  • Dry cough, may become moist
  • Vomiting occasionally
  • Bedridden
  • Severe complications
  • Hospitalisation
  • Cold
    • Symptoms last 1-2 days
    • Sometimes a mild fever
    • A runny nose
    • No muscular pain
    • Mild Headache
    • Sometimes a cough

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