MYTHS & FACTS - DID YOU KNOW?

There is no such thing as a ‘good enough immune system’ when it comes to catching illnesses.
All a laboratory test can look for in your immune fighting cells is normal or abnormal (not ‘awesome’…sorry). Immunity is such a dynamic concept that the notion of ‘good enough immunity’ almost sounds whimsical. The medical world is renowned for its evidence based knowledge creed, but even unlucky happens despite the best odds and being healthy. If it’s a gamble you want to take each season, then we place our bets that vaccination is still better than nothing at all. All in we say!


Most people also confuse the common cold with the ‘flu’.
They are different. True influenza virus is far more debilitating and severe. (Once you’ve had it, you will never forget it!) And, you can test for it. That’s right. Pop down to your trusted local GP and we’ll be sure to bring you the best of our nose swabbing skills. Enough to bring a good tear to your eye – this handy piece of knowledge feeds right back to the local Public Health Unit as the most latest statistic for flu season. Go you for playing your part in research!


Immunising staff in a workplace with seasonal influenza vaccine does reduce the amount of sick leave taken.
This is a cost saving investment decision!
“Due to the high attack rate of influenza in the general population, influenza vaccination in the workplace can result in benefits such as increased productivity and reduced absenteeism among workers. Employers should consider the benefits of offering influenza vaccine in their individual workplace.”

Ref: NHMRC The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition, pg 256.

Ref: Bridges CB, Thompson WW, Meltzer MI, et al. Effectiveness and cost-benefit of influenza vaccination of healthy working adults: A randomised controlled trial. JAMA 2000; 284:1655

Ref: Rothberg MB, Rose DN. Vaccination versus treatment of influenza in working adults: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Am J Med 2005; 118:68

Ref: Mullooly JP, Bennett MD, Hornbrook MC, et al. Influenza vaccination programs for elderly persons: cost-effectiveness in a health maintenance organisation. Ann Intern Med 1994; 121:947

Ref: Nichol et al. The effectiveness of vaccination against influenza in healthy, working adults. NEJM 1995; 33:889-893


You can get whooping cough after having a vaccine for it.
Re-vaccination is required after 5-10 years as immunity does wane. Mini-outbreaks are everywhere, every couple of years. Keep updated and you won’t need to think about whether your cough is that cough.

Ref: NHMRC The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition, Part 4


Childcare children are just as likely to catch influenza or whooping cough from their unvaccinated childcare teachers (not just their snotty friends)!
A staff member in the care facility room is considered a transmitter between children if they are choosing not to protect themselves. This inherent staff choice is the manageable risk and is remediable with seasonal workplace influenza vaccination services. VirtueVax strongly advocates for better awareness of this manageable risk concept in Early Learning Childcare Facilities as it is in keeping with the recognised duty of care toward preventing disease spread in Framework Recommendations.

VirtueVax strongly feels the focus on child immunisation is only part of the illness jigsaw in Facilities and that staff are just as important. We strongly support solid internal reviews of staff immunisation in Childcare Centres on an ongoing basis (not just when the staff commences employment).

Ref: NHMRC Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, 2013


People report that the flu shot has made them sick.
This is usually a promising sign your body is making antibodies (not the flu!) and you cannot catch the flu specifically from the vaccine. Impossible. Fear of side effects is often the main driver for choice to non-vaccinate and people often take a gamble each season thinking they ‘have a good enough immune system’ or just don’t have the time to prioritise seeing a doctor for it.


If I go to the doctor with the flu, what can they do?
Medical consults for flu sufferers usually entail medical certificates for absenteeism (often 1- 2 weeks), conservative medical advice (no active treatments are usually effective), reassurance of symptoms, and an exchange of regret for not choosing to be proactive in the first instance with immunisation. This is the hallmark consult for any frontline healthcare worker in the midst of flu season each year. Ask any local GP!

Ref: NHMRC The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition