Annual Campaign Launch 2012

ISG launches its 2012 flu awareness campaign

15 March 2012: With the 2012 flu vaccination available from today, an Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) survey has revealed an alarming 90 per cent of Australians have risked the health of their colleagues by going to work sick because they don’t want to let them down or miss deadlines.

The national survey examined attitudes towards presenteeism - the phenomenon where employees turn up to work when sick – and looked at Australians’ flu etiquette.

Results revealed that while Australians are becoming increasingly frustrated and annoyed when people go about their day to day activities while sick, they are reluctant to practice flu etiquette themselves with 70 per cent confessing to have participated in social activities despite having flu symptoms.

ISG Chairman Dr Alan Hampson said the fact so many Australians are going to work sick is even more of a reason to get vaccinated now as flu can hit in Autumn.

“People need to get vaccinated now – it could save their lives and will ensure they are protected when others bring the infection into their workplaces or social environment,” he said.

University of Sydney immunisation expert, Professor Robert Booy said presenteeism was a major concern, especially for people who are at high risk.

“The influenza virus is more likely to have severe consequences for pregnant women, those aged over 65, people with underlying medical conditions and Indigenous Australians,” he said.

Read the full media release here: 2012 ISG Media Release