Demand for the flu shot soars across corporate Australia
There has been a more than 50 per cent increase in the number of Australians receiving the influenza vaccination at their workplace as the 2019 flu season takes hold.
New Medibank data shows that between March and June this year, Medibank helped deliver more than 20,000 influenza vaccinations to 70 businesses across the country – a 55 per cent increase from last year.
Medibank’s Corporate Health and Wellbeing team partners with corporate clients to offer their employees access to optional flu vaccinations.
More than 1,300 Medibank employees have taken up the option of a free flu jab onsite or using a prepaid voucher at their local pharmacy – a 12 per cent increase on last year.
According to the Department of Health there has been more than 55,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Australia so far this year.
The cost to the Australian economy from absenteeism is around $44 billion* in lost productivity each year.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said we have seen a particularly nasty start to this year’s flu season.
“It’s important to take preventative steps to protect yourself. And while the flu shot doesn’t provide complete protection, if you’ve been vaccinated it can help prevent between 30 to 60 per cent of cases,” Dr Swan said.
“Influenza can be a difficult virus to predict as the virus can change with time. Because of this, we need to be vaccinated with a slightly different flu vaccine each year. “As always, it’s best to consult with your GP about your individual health needs and what’s appropriate for you.”
As part of the National Immunisation Program, the Australian Government is offering free flu vaccinations to people aged over 65, pregnant women and adults and children (aged six months and over) with certain medical conditions and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over.