Flu shot workplace program

Archived Release

Flu shot workplace program

Ministry of Health

TORONTO, Nov. 19 - The Ontario government's Universal Influenza Immunization Program provides Ontarians with the opportunity to protect themselves and those around them against the flu. A key part of this initiative is the workplace program which encourages employers across the province to recognize the importance of preventing serious infectious diseases in their workplaces. Hundreds of thousands of employees will have the opportunity to get flu shots at the more than 1,400 workplaces in Ontario (including Rogers Communications, 3M Canada Company, Alcan Packaging, Black & Decker Canada Inc., George Weston Ltd., and John Deere Ltd.) that are holding workplace flu clinics. Workplace flu shot benefits Workplace flu shot clinics offer a convenient way for employees to get a flu shot while, in turn, benefiting employers by resulting in less flu-related absences. According to the Canadian Coalition for Influenza Immunization, the flu virus may infect one in four working Canadians during the winter, costing the economy about $500 million annually. A flu shot, however, can make a substantial difference. Research by the University of Minnesota shows that flu immunization in healthy working adults results in 43 per cent fewer days of sick leave and 44 per cent fewer visits to doctors' offices due to upper respiratory illness. Every time an employee is vaccinated, it also reduces the chance of spreading the flu to family members at home - especially those who are elderly or have chronic or acute health problems. When an employer holds an on-site clinic, employees need not take time off to visit their doctor or an outside clinic for immunization. In fact, employees believe the most convenient way to get a flu shot is in the workplace - 64 per cent said so in a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid Research. Under the workplace program, the flu vaccine is provided free of charge to employers by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The employer is responsible for the costs of arranging to have nurses give flu shots to employees. The costs of holding a clinic can be recovered when compared with the potential lost time due to sick days. For example, if a company has 100 employees and 40 decide to get a flu shot, the cost to the company would be $480 (since nursing agencies charge a fee of about $12 per person immunized). This cost would end up being fully covered, if the influenza illness is avoided by just one employee.For further information: visit the website at http://www.health.gov.on.ca