1 April 2021
Flu vaccination update
The issue of vaccinations has received a lot of publicity recently as a result of the recent pandemic. Many of our clients have started to indicate to us that in future Medcall staff who are not vaccinated against the flu will not be able to work with and for them. Not being vaccinated could therefore affect the work we are able to provide for you in the future.
Apart from this fact, I strongly believe that the benefits of immunisation cannot be overstated both for keeping yourself safe from disease, and also your family and communities (please see attached fact sheet for more information). As an employer we wish to keep you and your clients safe in a disease free environment and being immunised can help us all achieve that.
As such Medcall is encouraging all its staff to get immunised this 2021 year and is hosting free vaccination clinics in our offices at the following locations once the flu vaccine becomes available:
Napier Palmerston North Wellington region Christchurch
Level 5/55 Anzac Avenue, Auckland CBD, or 18 Saint Marks Road, Epsom.
Unit 2 – 18 MacDonald Street, Mount Maunganui. 94 Raffles Street.
2 Linton St.
125 Naenae Steet, Naenae.
Unit 4 – 106 Carlyle St, Christchurch.
We are expecting the vaccine to be available from the end of May onwards, and we will contact you as soon as we have firm dates to register your attendance.
If you are planning to goto your GP or pharmacy to be vaccinated this year, then please keep your receipt and Medcall will reimburse you for the cost of vaccination. Please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also be aware that you may be requested by your local DHB to get immunised against Covid-19. If you receive such a request and it clashes with the above dates and times, please prioritise your Covid-19 immunisation. If you have any concerns or queries regarding any of the above please contact your local Manager or email email@example.com and someone will be in touch.
I hope to see you at one of the clinics. Kindest regards
David Fleming | CEO
Telephone 0800314314 | www.medcall.co.nz | New Zealand Wide
Flu fact sheet for healthcare workers1
How serious is influenza?
Influenza can vary from having no symptoms at all, to being extremely severe, even for fit and healthy people. Influenza is a potentially fatal disease, estimated to cause more deaths each year than accidents on NZ roads.
On average up to 401 deaths are estimated to be caused directly or indirectly by influenza virus each year in New Zealand. This estimated death rate is 17 times higher than recorded influenza deaths. Many others can have mild or even asymptomatic flu but can still spread it. The Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) serosurvey results show that in the 2015 winter season more than one quarter (26%) of New Zealanders were infected with flu with four out of five of these being asymptomatic (not showing symptoms). These asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus among their family, co-workers and classmates without ever realising it. Children are much more likely to contract influenza in any given season: 20–50% compared with 10–30% in adults. Applying SHIVERS serosurvey data to the New Zealand total population would suggest that in 2015 around: 31,850 people sought help at their general practice and 2,209 were hospitalised.
How contagious is influenza?
Studies have shown that influenza can survive for:
- An hour or more in the air in enclosed environments.
- More than eight hours on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic.
- Up to 15 minutes if transferred from tissues to hands.
- Up to five minutes after transfer from the environmental surfaces.
Does influenza vaccine work?
Like all vaccines, influenza vaccine is not 100% effective in everyone, but in most people it does prevent influenza, or the person has a less severe illness. Generally, flu vaccines are considered to have ‘moderate effectiveness’. Effectiveness rates depend on several factors, including the age and immune status of the recipient, as well as the match between circulating vaccine strains and the vaccine. The findings of a rigorous analysis of 44 years’ worth of studies published online by Lancet Infectious Diseases in 2011, concluded that overall “…existing flu vaccines can provide moderate protection from laboratory-confirmed flu, but protection is much lower in some groups and during some seasons.” According to a 2008 report based on Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. (ESR) surveillance data, influenza-related deaths in New Zealand reduced by more than 70% since 1997 when the vaccination policy changed to offer free flu vaccination for people 65 years and over, resulting in a steady increase of vaccine uptake.
Does being fit and healthy protect you from influenza?
Anyone can catch and spread, influenza. Being young, fit and healthy does not protect you from influenza. Immunisation offers the best protection from infection and reduces the spread of the virus to more vulnerable people.
Can I build up natural immunity to influenza?
Immunity only develops after you have been exposed to a particular strain of the virus, either through infection or immunisation. Flu immunisation prepares and boosts your immune system to help you fight the particular flu viruses expected to be circulating each year. Immunity against one strain of flu will not necessarily protect you against another.
You cannot catch influenza from the vaccine
The current influenza vaccines available in New Zealand do not contain live virus. These vaccines contain fragments of inactivated influenza viruses and cannot cause disease. It can take up to two weeks to be fully protected following vaccination. If you are exposed to influenza virus near the time you are vaccinated, the vaccine may not have time to work before you become unwell.
1 https://www.influenza.org.nz/sites/default/files/Flu%20fact%20sheet%20for%20HCW%2020170331.pdf Telephone 0800314314 | www.medcall.co.nz | New Zealand Wide
Is This NZ Based or Overseas? : Napier NZ