When to implement a workplace immunisation programme?

Vaccination is just as important to maintaining good health as a balanced diet and regular exercise. Vaccines save lives. People who travel often or who are at greater risk of contracting an infectious disease due to their line of work should get vaccinated. As an employer, you can help with this process.

Vaccination is one of the easiest, quickest and safest prevention measures to help protect the health of your workers and of the people around them. It teaches the body how to defend and arm itself against certain (parts of) viruses or bacteria.

Why vaccinate?

Employers with workers at greater risk of contracting an infectious disease are required to offer vaccinations against these diseases via their occupational health physician. However, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to inform all your workers about the benefits of immunisation and to encourage all of them to take part in the workplace immunisation programme:

  • Prevent absenteeism. There are several infectious diseases you can protect your workers against, such as the flu, tetanus, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. A few small jabs can help prevent worker absenteeism.  
  • Vaccines save lives. Infectious diseases can affect people differently and may be life-threatening to some. One example is the common flu virus. Vaccination programmes do not only protect your employees, they also help protect the people around them, such as their family members, friends, colleagues and business contacts.
  • Vaccinations are safe and effective. They are only made available and administered after many years of scientific research and testing. Some side effects may occur, such as mild fever or redness at the site of injection. However, you and your employees can rest assured that vaccination offers the best possible protection.

Mandatory vaccination?

Some people are at greater risk of contracting contagious diseases or of spreading them than others:

  • Those working with children – e.g. childcare workers, babysitters, early childhood teachers, nurses – should get vaccinated against pertussis and measles. This will prevent these contagious diseases from being passed on to young children who have not yet built up immunity.
  • People working in dirty environments – e.g. sewer workers, waste-handling workers – must be vaccinated against tetanus, also called lockjaw.
  • Those working with elderly, sick or immunocompromised people – e.g. healthcare workers – must be vaccinated against all vaccine-preventable diseases, including hepatitis B and the flu. Even in Belgium, people still die from the flu every year.   
  • Business travellers – e.g. representatives, stewards, journalists – could become seriously ill from an infectious disease while abroad (e.g. yellow fever) so they should get vaccinated. The types of vaccines available will depend on the destination of travel.

Protect the health of your workers

Find out how the right workplace immunisation programme can protect your workers. Contact us on +32 2 549 71 00.