Getting a flu jab helps reduce your risk of getting really sick or having to go to hospital. It also protects everyone around you, and stops the virus spreading to vulnerable members of your community.
The ups and downs of flu in New Zealand
If you thought that last winter's flu felt bad, you weren't wrong! Looking back at last years flu season, the data shows us that Flu-like Illnesses were far higher in 2022 than they were in 2020 and 2021. This is mainly because in prior years, with our international borders closed to the world, New Zealand barely had any Flu-like Illnesses at all.
New Zealand saw four times the number of flu cases in 2022, compared to previous years - Dr Anthony Jordan, Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre
However, if we look at data from the last eight years, including before we closed our borders to both visitors and viruses, we can see that peak infection rates in 2022 were similar to flu rates in 2015-2019. So although 2022's flu season might have felt worse that usual, this was probably because we had just enjoyed a few years without much flu around at all.
Influenza-like illness rates in New Zealand general practice (ESR)
For those interested, ESR tracks Flu-like Illness every year, and you can read more about it here:
Why get vaccinated?
We currently don't know exactly how bad 2023's flu season is going to be, but we can predict that it will likely be similar to 2022, with flu circulating widely in the community.
What we do know is that the flu virus is not a common cold, and it is nasty if you do catch it. Flu affects your whole body with sudden onset symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and stomach upsets that can last for a week or more.
Getting a flu jab helps reduce your risk of getting really sick or having to go to hospital.
For your loved ones, colleagues and your wider community:
Unfortunately, it is really common to carry the flu virus around without having any symptoms. This means you could easily spread it to other people without even realising.
For people with lowered immune systems (older people, young children, pregnant people, and those with certain medical conditions) the flu can lead to them developing very serious complications, such as pneumonia. Sometimes the flu can even be fatal – sadly around 500 Kiwis die from the flu every year.
Being vaccinated reduces the risk of you accidentally passing the flu to your whānau, friends, workmates and the other people in your community.
Flu vaccines protect you, and all the people around you. This is why yearly immunisation prior to the influenza season is recommended for everyone who can be vaccinated.
Read more here:
2023 Workplace Vaccinations
With flu vaccines, the business's ROI is almost instantaneous. You will have less flu circulating in your offices, disrupting your workflow, and immunised team members are less likely to get seriously unwell, meaning they will take less sick days.
Onsite flu vaccines
If you have more than 10 team members based in any one location, it makes sense to offer an onsite vaccination session to make it easy and convenient for them to get vaccinated.
We are expecting onsite vaccines to be available from the week of the 27th March in Auckland, and from the week of the 3rd April around the rest of the country.
These are a great way to ensure your teams all around the country don't miss out on the opportunity to be vaccinated this year. A voucher is emailed to each team member who can then redeem it for a flu vaccine at any one of the 450 pharmacies and medical practices around New Zealand.
Vouchers can be requested now and will be sent out from approximately the 1st of April.
Healthbox can arrange either of these options for you and your team.
Simply reach out to us here: