Workplace Flu Vaccinations

Who is Sonic HealthPlus?

Sonic HealthPlus is Australia’s leading provider of occupational health and general medicine services.

Why do you need workplace flu vaccinations?

The Flu is difficult to avoid. 1-in-6 people will get infected in an average year1. Vaccinated workers are likely to be off work for fewer days – if at all.

How It Works
Step 1: Preparation

So you’re thinking of booking a workplace flu vaccination program to fight the flu this year? Before you book your program there are a couple of things you need to consider.

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Step 2: Booking

Now that you are fully prepared, you can begin booking your vaccination program online. Be sure to read the terms and conditions first. Simply complete the form below.

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Step 3: Prepare Your Workplace

Next your flu coordinator will send you a Flu Fighters Client pack to assist in your preparation to fight the flu in your workplace.

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Step 4: Flu Program Day

Lastly, you can meet your nurse and escort everyone to the designated area where your nurse will vaccinate everyone.

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Step 1: Preparation

So you’re thinking of booking a workplace flu vaccination program to fight the flu this year? Before you book your program there are a couple of things you need to consider.

  • What kinds of vaccines will you purchase? Trivalent or Quadrivalent, in clinic or onsite.
  • Where will you host your onsite vaccine program? You need to ensure you have a suitable private area for the nurse to administer the vaccines and include a place for people to lie down if they are feeling faint.
  • How many do you need?
  • Need a Quote? We have a handy instant quote function on our website so you can price out what types and how many you need before purchasing.
Step 2: Booking
  • This year you will book your onsite and in clinic flu vaccination programs online.
  • Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions carefully before you complete your booking.
  • Once you have completed your booking, a booking confirmation will be emailed to your supplied email address.
  • One of our flu coordinators will be in touch to confirm your voucher bookings and/or preferred booking time and date for your onsite program. On confirmation of details the Flu coordinator will then send you an invoice for your flu vaccination program.
Step 3: Prepare Your Workplace
  • Your flu coordinator will send you a Flu Fighters Client pack to assist in your preparation to fight the flu in your workplace. This pack will include consent forms, vaccine information, run sheet, fact sheets and promotional posters for you to promote your program internally.
  • It is very handy to have a dedicated coordinator in your workplace to be the central contact and champion the flu program in your workplace.
  • Your flu coordinator will liaise with you to arrange any site-specific requirements in delivering your flu program such as site inductions etc.
  • It is helpful to send reminders to staff detailing the time, date and location of your flu program.
  • Remind staff to wear loose clothing so they can roll up their sleeves or remove their jackets.
  • One week prior to your flu program you will need to collect all the participating staffs consent forms ensuring they are completed and return them to your flu coordinator. Having one point of contact for this process will ensure things run much more smoothly on the day.
  • Send out a reminder to your team one day before, as well as on the day of your program.
Step 4: Flu Program Day
  • Have someone meet the nurse and escort them to the designated area.
  • Have a designated coordinator on the day that can assist the nurse with appointments and contact people who may be running late.
  • The nurse can vaccinate one person every five minutes; please bring people to the nurse in groups of five.
  • Make sure people can roll up their sleeves or remove their jackets.
  • Let your team know not to go anywhere outside of the workplace for 15 minutes after their vaccination.
  • A cup of tea and a glass of water is always appreciated by the nurse.
  • Remember the nurse will not be vaccinating anyone who does not have an approved consent form on the day.
How Flu Affects Workplaces

Flu hits a workplace in two ways, which makes it doubly hard to keep it at bay.

Firstly, there’s the all-too-familiar ‘absenteeism’, which results in days lost while either a worker recovers or they are off work caring for a partner, child, or aged relative. A NSW Chamber of Business-sponsored survey2 in 2012 calculated the cost of losing an employee to flu at around $1300 – without temp replacement costs.

Then there’s ‘presenteeism’ – showing up for work sick when you should be in bed – which is actually several times more costly to a business or organisation than ‘absenteeism’.

That’s because everyone loses: The infected worker shows up and gallantly ‘soldiers on’ only to pass on the virus to fellow workers. Meanwhile, their own productivity plummets.

The Cost of Flu to businesses

In 2014, the average annual cost of influenza to Australia was estimated to be $828-$884 million per year. Around 30% was due to indirect costs (working days lost), while 70% were direct costs, with 82% (around $500 million) due to hospitalisations.

Healthy workers aged 18 – 64 years have fewer complications from flu, although the worst of the symptoms can last 3 days on average and may take weeks to finally shake off.

But, there are an estimated 1.2 million seemingly healthy adults in the national workforce with serious underlying medical conditions – heart, lung, or kidney diseases, diabetes, or immune disorders – which put them in a higher-risk category for a more severe flu.

Given the ageing of the Australian workforce it’s not hard to make a compelling business case for flu vaccination in every workplace.

1 – Influenza Specialist Group. About Influenza -

2 – NSW Business Chamber (2012) Flu season could cost NSW businesses $482 million. Accessed 5.4.15 Available at:$482-million

Three strain vs. four-strain flu vaccines

The choice looks simple enough: the familiar 3-strain ‘trivalent’ influenza vaccine or the new 4-strain quadrivalent version?

The traditional trivalent injectable vaccine (TIV) vaccine should again be effective against the three principal flu strains predicted for 2016 – A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and B/ Brisbane. It’s also cheaper. Several trivalent products will be available in Australia from early March, a month earlier than the two imported 4-strain or ‘quadrivalent’ vaccines.

Fluarix Tetra and the privately-available FluQuadri Adult will contain the trio of strains mentioned above, plus B/Phuket. In most years, B strains account for the fewest flu cases than the A strains. This was not the case last winter. The final national Influenza Surveillance Report1 published in December described the 2015 flu season as ‘characterised by the predominant circulation of influenza B’. B/Yamagata lineage viruses and B/Victoria accounted for 62% of all lab-confirmed cases’ of influenza.

The report also noted that emergency department visits were about average and ICU admissions were slightly down, with a similar proportion of A- and B-strain infections.

Will 2016 be a repeat of 2015? Seasonal flu is so unpredictable that even the experts don’t know which strains will eventually come to the fore during the winter flu season, which is what makes deciding on the vaccine formulation such a challenge.

The four-strain vaccine is certainly worth considering for those who are more susceptible to severe flu infection – young children, elderly and anyone with underlying medical conditions.

Corporate travellers are also more likely to have greater exposure to flu strains that are already circulating, as well as to new strains that could emerge outside Australia. It is therefore worthwhile considering four strain vaccinations for employees that are travelling regularly, including domestic travel.

1 – Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates

PI for FluarixTetra:

CI for FluQuadri:

Frequently Asked Questions
Who should get the flu vaccination?

An annual flu vaccination is recommended for any person from six months of age who wishes to reduce the chance of being ill with the flu. For anyone in a high-risk category, the flu can be a serious and potentially fatal illness. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend annual vaccinations for people with:

  • Heart conditions
  • Severe asthma
  • Lung conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney problems
  • Impaired immunity
  • Malignant cancers
  • Pregnant women
  • Chronic neurological disorders.
Are you able to get the flu shot if you are feeling unwell?

The nurse will discuss your symptoms with you on the day and vaccinate at their discretion.

Are there any side effects from the flu vaccination?

Like any medication, some people may experience an unexpected reaction to the flu vaccination. Common side effects include:

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Low-grade temperature
  • Headache or muscle aches
  • Drowsiness or tiredness
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • A temporary small lump at the injection site.

Most side effects are minor, last a short time, resolve without any treatment and do not lead to any long-term problems. Generally, mild reactions begin within six to 12 hours. As with any medication, very rarely will you have a severe allergic reaction that will usually occur within 15 minutes of receiving the vaccination. Due to this, it is important for you to wait for 15 minutes after receiving it before leaving.

Is the flu vaccination safe for pregnant women?

Yes. The flu vaccination can be safely given during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe disease or complications from the flu. Vaccinating against the flu during pregnancy can not only protect pregnant women but provide ongoing protection to a newborn baby for the first six months after birth.

If I’m pregnant, can you administer my flu vaccination at my workplace?

No. We will not administer flu vaccinations to pregnant women in the workplace as we believe this should be administered by a family doctor or obstetrician to ensure continuity of care.

Once we have confirmed our onsite vaccination program, are we able to change the date?

Our national flu program is very popular and is generally booked out months in advance. Changing the confirmed date of your onsite vaccination programme is at the discretion of the National Flu Coordinator based on scheduling and resourcing. Programs will not be rescheduled under a week out.

What happens if someone is sick or away on the day of our onsite vaccinations?

If you have purchased onsite Quadrivalent vouchers you may contact the National Flu Coordinator after your program to exchange onsite Quadrivalent vouchers for in clinic Quadrivalent vouchers. You will not be able to exchange Trivalent vouchers.

Can we pay extra for a quad vaccine if our employer has only paid for a tri vaccine?

If your employer has purchased in clinic tri vouchers you may be able to upgrade this to a quad voucher in clinic. This will be at the discretion of the clinic manager and will need to be discussed when you book your appointment to redeem your vouchers.

Can I take my in clinic voucher to my personal doctor?

No. Vouchers can only be redeemed at a Sonic HealthPlus Clinic.

I don’t live near a Sonic HealthPlus Clinic, how do I redeem my in clinic voucher.

Vouchers can only be redeemed at a Sonic HealthPlus Clinic. Sonic HealthPlus has over 50 clinics across Australia and vouchers can be redeemed at any of these clinics before 30 August 2016. To find your nearest clinic click Here.

Sonic HealthPlus has provided onsite flu vaccines annually to our QLD and VIC employees and we have found the service very easy from booking thoughout to delivery. The added benefit of up to date information and resources on viruses as well as the latest vaccines is very useful for delivering this information to our employees.
Nuplex Industries (Aust) Pty Limited

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