Oct 15, 2018

Employers urged to support employees in getting the flu vaccine to keep staff and their business healthy this winter

  • #FluFree campaign launched to encourage employers and their employees to get the flu vaccination ahead of flu season 2018/19 
  • Even healthy workers are susceptible to the flu and risk spreading it to more vulnerable family and friends
  • Minister for Health Simon Harris and Retail Excellence CEO Lorraine Higgins launch initiative and encourage increased uptake of vaccine.

DUBLIN, Ireland – 11 October 2018 – A new health campaign, #FluFree, is calling on employers to support their employees in getting the flu vaccine launched in Dublin today (11 October).

The objective of the campaign is to increase wider community immunity against flu by encouraging employers to assist and facilitate their employees in getting the flu vaccine.

The campaign has been developed by a leading supplier of and experts in flu vaccinations across the globe, leading global pharmaceutical company Mylan.

Each year flu is a major issue for our Ireland’s healthcare system. Data from last year’s flu season indicates that almost 12,000 (11, 832) people presented to their GP with flu, with a median age of 52. While there were 4,680 patients hospitalised due to influenza during the 2017/2018 flu season1.

Flu can also have a significant impact on Ireland’s business community and economic productivity. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, an outbreak of flu can quickly spread to all employees and undermine a company’s performance and profitability. For many businesses, the flu season also coincides with the busy Christmas trading period.

A Canadian2 study found that employee absenteeism due to flu typically ranged from 5% to 20%, with higher rates associated with multiple flu strains circulating (as was the case last year).

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Retail Excellence Ireland CEO Lorraine Higgins joined the launch event to add their voices to the campaign.

Speaking in Dublin city centre, Minister Harris urged employers to take the lead:

“Vaccinations are the most effective way of preventing the flu. While flu, is not a life-threatening illness for most healthy individuals, nonetheless getting the flu vaccination is still worthwhile. I encourage employers and business owners lead by example and think about promoting a healthy workplace and putting staff wellbeing at the forefront by helping to keep the flu at bay this winter. A healthier workforce not only makes for a happier work environment but also will maintain productivity, reduce disruption on workload while colleagues are out sick and limit the risk of spreading it to their families and friends.”


Date Of Publication: October 2018