ESB Flu Vaccination Programme for Employees 2020
Getting a flu vaccine this year could be vital to help protect you and help the health system cope with any additional strain caused by COVID-19.
There is a lot of detailed information on this page for employees across Ireland and the UK. Click on the links below to hop straight to the information you need.
Our ask of you
Republic of Ireland
•All other employees
Great Britain & Northern Ireland
•All other employees
What do we expect in relation to the 2020 Winter Flu?
Influenza is well established to be a seasonal infection, whereas the experience to date suggests that there is little seasonal impact upon COVID-19 transmission. This has left us at a disadvantage in Ireland in predicting likely patterns to emerge when both illnesses coincide later in 2020. In Ireland, the arrival of COVID-19 occurred just as our 2019/20 flu season was on the decline.
International experience, specifically in Australia has however provided us with useful information. We know that Influenza and COVID-19 are transmitted in a similar fashion, and equally that COVID-19 is far more infectious than Influenza. It is therefore reasonable to predict that the public health measures which have been effective in suppressing transmission of COVID-19 should be at least as effective if not more so in relation to Influenza. Experience in Australia to date reflects this. To protect us from both infections it is vital that we all continue to follow the public health precautions that we know so well – social distancing, hand hygiene, face coverings and cough and sneezing etiquette.
How we can play our part in protecting each other
While flu vaccination is important in its own right, the HSE (Irl) and NHS (UK) are seeking to reduce the burden on health services so we are not overwhelmed with “dual outbreaks” of influenza and COVID-19.
We strongly urge all employees to get the flu vaccine this year.
Depending on which group you are in, you will get the vaccine by either of these ways:
• If you are an at-risk employee – through the HSE or NHS
• All other employees – through Boots pharmacies (Irl), and local GP/pharmacy (UK)
Full details of how to get your vaccine in each jurisdiction as well as the definition of an ‘at-risk’ employee are explained below.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Please note that due to COVID-19 there are changes to how this this year’s Flu Vaccination programme is operating.
1. ‘At-risk’ or recommended group
If you fall into the ‘at-risk’ or recommended group as defined by the HSE you are eligible for a free flu vaccination from your participating pharmacy or doctor this season. Therefore, you SHOULD NOT request a voucher from ESB. You can simply arrange an appointment with your local participating pharmacy or GP to receive your free flu vaccination.
For ESB Employees, the ‘at risk’ or recommended groups include the following as outlined in HSE guidance (this may yet be subject to change for the 2020/21 season)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- People with long-term medical conditions such as
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Kidney disease
- Neurological diseases
- People whose immune system is impaired due to disease e.g. Diabetes or due to treatment, including cancer patients
- Persons who are obese who have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40
- People with Down syndrome
- Carers and household contacts of people at medical risk of the complications of flu
If you are unclear about whether or not you are in an at-risk group you should consult with your local pharmacy or GP for further advice.
2. All other Republic of Ireland employees
ESB Occupational Health have partnered with Boots to offer employees a complimentary flu vaccination service this season. To help ensure your safety during COVID-19 pandemic there are changes to the service this year and these are explained in the Voucher Application process below.
- Request your voucher as soon as possible, to complete your Boots pre-consultation form and book your appointment early.
- As we are expecting increased uptake this season, please don’t request a voucher unless you are confident you will redeem it!
How to request a voucher for this year’s flu vaccination programme
1. Email email@example.com with the following details:
- Staff no.
- Business Unit
- Email address (preferred) or Phone number
- Note that you don’t fall into one of the HSE’s at-risk or recommended groups
If you don’t have access to email, call 01 7026699 (26699) Option 3.
In compliance with GDPR regulations we wish to advise you that when you provide above details to One HR for the flu vaccination programme your data will be shared with Boots pharmacy so that they can issue you an eVoucher. Please note that to fulfil your request ESB will supply Boots with [Name, phone number or email address]. The data supplied to Boots will only be used for the purposes of the flu voucher fulfilment.
2. You will receive a message via email or text with your digital e-voucher. Please note vouchers won’t be issued until after 24th September. Vouchers can be redeemed in store from 1st October onwards. The voucher contains a unique code that will be used to redeem your free vaccination when you visit the pharmacy. You can display the voucher and its code on your smartphone or print off the details if you prefer.
3. While waiting to receive your e-voucher visit www.boots.ie/flu (please use Google Chrome) and click ‘get started’ to complete your online pre-consultation form and to book an appointment. Uptake of the flu vaccine may be high this season so it’s important to book early! This takes approx. 10 mins and can be completed on a smart phone, tablet or computer.
4. If you experience any issues completing your on-line booking or pre-consultation questions, please contact your local Boots Pharmacy by phone or call Boots Customer Care on 1890 708 091
5. Arrive into store and present your e-Voucher for your scheduled appointment and your specially trained pharmacist will give you your vaccination.
- No walk-in’s will be accepted
- Vouchers are not available to spouse/civil partners this year
- Bring your ESB ID
- For further details on what to expect when attending your appointment or for information on flu campaign visit www.boots.ie/flu
GREAT BRITAIN & NORTHERN IRELAND
1. ‘At risk’ or recommended group
If you fall into the ‘at risk’ or recommended group as defined by the NHS you are eligible for a free flu vaccination from your Local Pharmacy or GP this season.
For the working population UK NHS Flu vaccine eligibility advises: 2020/21 flu season:
- adults 65 and over
- people with an underlying health condition(such as long term heart or respiratory disease)
- pregnant women
- people with weakened immune systems
- people living with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
If you are unclear about whether or not you are in a high risk group you should consult with your local pharmacy or GP for further advice
Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.
2. All other Great Britain and Northern Ireland employees
Employees who don’t fall into the above at-risk group but wish to receive a flu vaccination can attend their GP or pharmacy and submit a receipt and avail of a refund of up to £25.
Process to submit receipts will be available here soon
Symptoms of Flu Vs Coronavirus
Here is a summary of the symptoms of COVID-19, the flue and the common cold. Further information from the HSE is available HERE
Symptoms range from mild to severe
Abrupt onset of symptoms
Gradual onset of symptoms
|Fever or chills||Common||Common||Rare|
|Cough||Common (usually dry)||Common (usually dry)||Mild|
|Shortness of breath||Common||No||No|
|Lost or changed sense of smell or taste||Common||Rare||Rare|
|Aches and pains||Common||Common||Common|
|Runny or Stuffy Nose||Sometimes||Sometimes||Common|
|Feeling sick or vomiting||Rare||Sometimes||No|
|Diarrhoea||Rare||Sometimes in children||No|
For queries in relation to asbestos please email oneHR@esb.ie or telephone (01) 70 26699.