Over the last 15 years infectious disease claim costs have near tripled. In 2016, Australian workplaces experienced 225 infectious disease claims costing $1.3 million (Safe Work Australia 2018). This was the largest increase in claim costs for any type of work injury, highlighting the need for workplace vaccinations.
A vaccine is a serum which contains a dead or weakened version of an infectious germ (bacteria or virus). Injecting the vaccine into a person stimulates that person’s immune system to develop antibodies to destroy that germ without making the person sick. Your body’s immune system remembers each disease you have ever fought. By being vaccinated, if you were to catch the ‘real’ germ, your body would rapidly produce the corresponding antibodies again to fight the infection before you show signs or symptoms of the illness.
Millions of people each year are vaccinated with no side effects. There are vaccines available for many different diseases present in the workplace, including Hepatitis, Tetanus, Q Fever and Influenza. Some of these vaccines only need to be given once, others like the Fluvax should be given every year as the influenza virus mutates.
The flu or influenza is the most common infectious disease in the workplace with a record number of influenza cases having already been reported in Australia this year (RACGP 2019). With early and widespread vaccination in the workplace, employers should be able to significantly reduce the negative effect these diseases could have on their workplace.
For more information on workplace vaccinations, see the table below or contact CHG.