Swine Flu Jabs

Yes, it’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to colder autumnal nights and how much coverage the media will give to swine flu over the coming months. The World Health Organisation announced back in August that the H1N1 influenza virus has moved into the post-pandemic period, but there could still be localised outbreaks of ‘various magnitudes’. 

Remember when large corporations were buying  the anti-virus medicine Tamiflu as if it was going out of fashion? Well it was certainly going out of stock. Millions were spent on the stockpiles which should have a shelf life of a few years, but perhaps the simplest and cheapest way to manage the swine flu health risk is for employers to pay for a jab at a local pharmacy or bulk buy for on-site vaccination programmes.

Most of the high street retailers are now offering a flu vaccine including cover from A/H1N1 virus for under £10 a shot. It’s not a huge price for employers to pay if it is successful in reducing flu related absence over the winter.

Think about how much flu related absence cost your organisation last year. The NHS says that the flu vaccines currently available give 70-80% protection against infection. It seems a pretty sound investment.

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