Flu vaccinations can save UK businesses £28 million a year
4th September 2019
Research by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILCUK) found that flu vaccinations help prevent up to 626,000 cases of influenza per year in England and avoids between 5,768 and 8,800 premature deaths annually. It also found that £28,902,536 in sick day costs could have been saved by providing employees with the flu vaccination.
Ben Franklin, assistant director of research and policy at ILCUK, said when speaking to Personnel today that “The flu continues to impose a serious burden on health services, as well as resulting in “productivity losses” due to poor health and sick days.”
Influenza is actually a serious disease, as many as 650,000 people a year can die of the flu. Anyone can get the flu, but especially those who have weak immune systems. For most people, it takes a few weeks to recover, but some can develop complications including sinus and ear infections, heart or brain inflammations or pneumonia.
Hundreds die in Australia
There have been at least 135,952 cases of flu, so far this year in Australia, compared with the average 17,349 in the previous five. Nearly 300 people already are believed to have died due to this year’s scary outbreak, this is a huge rise from the 125 for the whole of the 2018 flu season. Experts believe this could be a sign of what is to come this winter in the UK too. NHS bosses are urging people to step up their anti-flu preparations as a result of this.
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said when speaking to Sky News, “We must get immunisation rates as high as possible. We must also get our resilience plans in place as early as we can.”
Vaccinations are the best defence we have against the flu. If the figures in Australia are anything to go by then it is more important than ever to ensure every one of your employees is vaccinated to prevent mass infection and possible fatalities.
The effects of flu on workplaces
Influenza is one of the biggest causes of people missing work every year with an estimated 7.6 million working days lost to it annually. It is reported the flu costs the British economy £1.35 billion a year. These figures could rise drastically if we see similar outcomes to Australia this flu season.
Due to how infectious influenza is, those who contract it are advised to stay off work to prevent the disease spreading, and the NHS advises that employees stay at home for a further two days after the sickness has stopped to avoid infecting others. This means many sick days are lost to flu every year, and if someone does come in with the flu, they can spread it to others, costing a business even more in absenteeism. If large groups of employees are off sick at the same time, it is not just the cost of sick days for businesses but the huge loss in productivity, especially if key members of staff are off.
The flu is easily spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with infected surfaces and people. This means if even just one infected person is in work with the flu, there is the risk of mass infection. Getting a large group of people vaccinated decreases the overall risk of any one person getting the flu, this is something referred to as herd immunity. So, by getting all your employees vaccinated, you can massively decrease the risk of any of your workforce obtaining the flu.
The bottom line is people need to be vaccinated. The flu spreads easily and is highly contagious, especially in areas with large amounts of people, such as a workplace, where many could be infected at once. Staff are a key business asset and are essential to the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of a business. For a healthy, productive business you need healthy, productive staff.
The flu vaccine reduces your risk of catching the flu and lessens the severity if you do get it. Experts recommend getting the flu vaccination as early as possible to provide the best protection. It takes around 2-4 weeks to become effective, so the earlier you get it the better. Peak flu season is around late October to February, and so doctors advise people receive their vaccine as early as September, to ensure they are protected.
How can Kays Medical help?
Kays Medical can provide both flu vaccinations as well as flu vaccination clinics for your business, to ensure your workforce stays healthy and productive. Remove the headache of organising staff to go off-site to receive vaccinations, as Kays Occupational Health Clinicians can come to you, when it’s convenient, to give your workforce the flu vaccinations they need. We can administer vaccines across one or multiple sites. Don’t wait around, contact us today to ensure your workforce is protected.
For further protection, provide each of your employees with the Blue Lion hand sanitizer gel, effective against 99.99% germs.