Call Us: 09 279 2920

Do annual flu vaccinations provide optimum protection?


Every year as we head into autumn the same dilemma arises for many of us: Should we get our annual flu jab or not? Is it worth it? Is it safe? In this article we look at the reasons for having regular annual flu vaccinations and some of the myths surrounding flu vaccinations…

Why do I need to consider another flu jab?

There are generally two reasons for getting an annual flu vaccine:

  1. 1.Because flu viruses are constantly changing from year to year, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next in order to protect against the most recent and most commonly circulating viruses.
  2. 2.A person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time and an annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection

Who decides what is in this years’ flu jab?

Each year, many samples of the current flu viruses are collected from around the world. These latest strains of flu viruses are then sent to one of five World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratories for detailed testing. These laboratories test how well the antibodies in the current vaccine react to the circulating virus and new flu viruses. If required, the latest flu vaccine is then re-engineered to protect against the three influenza viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. Each season, this includes an influenza B virus, an influenza A (H1N1) virus and an influenza A (H3N2) virus

What happens after I get a flu jab?

By two weeks after vaccination, your body will have developed antibodies to protect against the viruses in the vaccine. Those same antibodies will help protect you from the influenza viruses you are most likely to come in contact with during the winter season

Healthy people shouldn’t get the flu, right?

Wrong! Anyone can contract the virus whether they are generally healthy or not. Around 15-20% of the population gets flu each year and could pass it on to others, including those who are at risk of serious illness

What about the side effects of the flu vaccination? I’ve heard it gives you flu.

The flu jab contains no live viruses so it cannot give you the flu. For most people the side effects are very mild. This includes soreness around the site of the injection and occasionally some aching muscles or slightly raised temperature

Who should have a flu vaccination?

The flu jab is highly recommended for those in certain ‘at risk’ groups who are at greater risk of developing complications from flu. At risk groups include pregnant women, people with chronic asthma, diabetes, chronic heart disease, those over 65’s and frontline health or social care workers. It is also well worthwhile that all employees be encouraged to have flu jabs. It makes prudent business sense that companies keep their employees at work and fully productive. Vaccination is the simplest and most effective way of safeguarding against the spread of flu within the workforce each winter

What else can I do to slow the spread of influenza?

Some simple measures can help lower the spread of flu:

  • Viruses lurk on skin and household surfaces, so wash your hands regularly, particularly before eating and when you come in from outside. This is especially important if someone near you has been coughing or sneezing.
  • Wipe clean commonly used areas with an antibacterial cleaning product. This includes kitchen worktops and door handles.
  • During winter, avoid non-essential travel and large crowds



Ross Thomson, a Director of Joyworkz Ltd.

Sources include:

National Health Service, UK, Health for Work Website:

US Centers for Disease control and Prevention Website:

US Dept of Health and Human Services Website:

2012© Joyworkz Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. Do you like this article?. If so, feel free to post a link on your intranet, e-newsletter, blog, face-book page or email to your friends and colleagues. We are keen for everyone to have the opportunity to live a healthy work life!



Our range of services

Workstation assessments

Comprehensive ergonomic assessments carried out by professional, experienced, qualified staff.

Workstation assessor training

Learn how to conduct workstation assessments for your staff.

Lunchtime seminars

Short, engaging, informative seminars on a range of wellness topics.

Wellness programme design

Workplace wellness design made easy. Let us help you create a great place to work.

Workplace health services

A valuable range of workplace health services to enhance staff health, safety and productivity.

Drug and alcohol testing

Drug and alcohol testing to reduce business risk and create a protective culture where staff (and customers) feel valued.


Ergonomic products and books to enhance comfort and enjoyment at work.


A considerable range of well researched, engaging workplace wellbeing articles to inspire and inform.

Higher morale & enhanced team spirit.
Wellness iniatives can leave staff feeling appreciated. A planned wellness programme has the added advantage of providing a workplace with an array of team building activities that can contribute to employee motivation and loyalty.
Lower staff turnover.
When staff feel valued and cared for, they are less likely to leave an organisation.
Less absenteeism.
Promotion of healthy living can impact on absenteeism, including non-work related illness.
Enhanced employee engagement.
Healthy, well rested staff, are more likely to be focused and engaged at work.
Improved status as an employer of choice.
Attracting and retaining good staff is important for business. Wellness programme initiatives can improve a company's status as an employer of choice. 
Enhanced public image.
Companies who are known to be good employers can build this into their brand. Customers can feel good about doing business with them. 
Better customer service.
Customer service staff are more likely to believe in and promote a company's brand, if they themselves feel supported and valued.

The benefits of a healthy workforce

All companies are required under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) to provide a safe work environment, free from hazards. Workplace wellness requires a focus on employee wellbeing from a holistic point of view, moving beyond pure health and safety. This includes physical, mental and emotional health (WHO).

Companies with workplace wellness programmes may experience a range of benefits; these can include less instances of absent workers as well as increased productivity and employee retention. By creating a culture of health, employees can encourage positive habits in their peers and improve the entire organization.

Happy workers all ages