A woman sick in bed without a flu vaccination

2018 Flu Vaccinations – Your Questions Answered

Oct 2018
Occupational Health

Flu can be both debilitating and deadly; flu can put you in bed for a couple of weeks but it can sometimes be as long as 6 months before you feel fully recovered.
Flu is as different from the common cold as a headache is to a migraine, if you have to take a couple of days off work that is not flu. Actual flu symptoms come with a high fever, one where you won’t want or simply can’t get out of bed, headaches and severe muscle fatigue as well as nausea. Flu is a nasty virus you will know when you have it.
Here is a Q and A to help you decide how and when you should get immunised.

Q. Will flu vaccination safeguard against swine flu?
A. Yes. In 2018 the swine flu vaccine and influenza vaccinations have been combined.
Q. I am in a vulnerable group, can I get a free jab from work?
A. Yes. Your company can choose to pay for it, otherwise you can go to your doctor and get it for free.
Q. People have told me you can get flu from having the inoculation.
A. No. It is not possible to catch flu from the vaccine. The incubation period for influenza is 10-14 days, if you have symptoms after the injection, it is either, a mild reaction to the vaccination or you already had flu.
Q. How successful is the vaccine?
A. Flu Vaccinations are never 100% effective but flu vaccines have a good rate of success at about 80%.
Q. I am allergic to eggs and chicken, am I OK to be vaccinated?
A. No. Certain groups can’t have flu vaccines; mainly antibiotics: Gentamicin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B and Kanamycin, as well as pregnant women who have not yet reached their first trimester.
Q. Can I still have the jab if I don’t feel well?
A. No. If you are feeling unwell at the time, you will be refused the vaccine.
Q. Does my primary care agent check my medical status beforehand?
A. Yes. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists will ask you questions to ensure that it is appropriate and that you show no contra-indications before giving you the shot.
Q. Should I offer free flu vaccinations, to my staff?
A. Yes. Vaccinating your workforce is one of the most cost effective ways of protecting them from a major flu virus outbreak; it also demonstrates that you are a responsible employer who looks after your employees.
Q. Can my boss insist that I be vaccinated?
A. No. Flu Vaccinations are offered on a voluntary basis, although our advice is to take up your company’s offer.
Q. Will last year’s vaccination protect me this year?
A. No. Flu vaccinations are decided upon each year by The World Health Organisation, which examines influenza epidemics globally and then decides what the vaccine will contain. Influenza vaccines only protect you for six months and are intended to cover the highest risk stage.
The 2018 version will be the Quadrivalent vaccine, recommended by both NHS England and Public Health England.

For more information about how flu vaccinations could benefit your workplace please get in touch.