There is a TV ad campaign on at the moment encouraging those high risk groups who are entitled to get a flu jab to have one. However, what about those of us in the public sector who through the very nature of our work are "high risk", who are not offered a jab ?
I have, since becoming a teacher, caught the annual flu on average every three years. That is three times in nine years. On each occasion I have been off work for three days. This means, at an average cost for a supply teacher of £130 a day, I have cost my employer £1170 in supply costs. Compare that with what the cost of a flu jab would have cost. At £8 a shot over nine years, that is £72. If a flu jab every years stops one teacher taking one day off in 15 years, it has paid for itself.
It does make me wonder why it is that school teachers, who by the very nature of our work, are in close proximity to spluttering coughing kids and are therefore more susceptible to picking up viruses, are not allowed a jab as a matter of course.
I guess it is down to whose budget it comes from. The NHS pay for flu jabs, but the County Council education budget funds my school. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't so hard to get a flu jab and pay for it myself, but that is made extremely difficult too.
You have to ask if they can't get out annual jabs to those who need it and those who want it, how ever will they cope when the next pandemic flu strikes ?