For entrepreneurs, autumn means higher costs caused by employees going on sick leave. Employers of Poland would like to remind that flu always means losses for the economy.
Research conducted by experts of the National Flu Combatting Program in cooperation with EY indicates that indirect costs of the absence or lower effectiveness of employees are as high as 4 bln PLN per year.
Sadly, the number of people who get vaccinated against flu is still very low. In the 2013/2014 season, only 3.8 percent of Poles got vaccinated – almost two times fewer than five years ago: in the 2008/2009 season, the rate was 6.8 percent. The effect: according to data provided by the National Institute of Public Health, despite relatively mild weather conditions in the period between September 2014 and March 2015, 2 623 878 suffered from flu and other flu-like ailments, 8 500 of whom required hospital care.
– This is over 40 percent more than in the same period the year before – adds Grzegorz Byszewski. In comparison, in Spain 19 percent get vaccinated, while 41 percent do so in the US.
This is a consequence of a worrying growth in the popularity of anti-vaccination movements. According to figures provided by the General Sanitary Inspectorate, in 2011 around 3 000 kids in Poland did not get vaccinated. Last year, there were as many as 12 300 such kids.
– There more and more materials based on emotion, rather than on reliable, scientific knowledge, particularly on the internet – Byszewski points out.
This alarming tendency may lead to a return of long-gone infectious diseases, such as polio.
– Let the case of Ukraine serve as a warning: two new cases of polio were recently diagnosed there – he explained.
The campaign against misinformation is conducted a.o. by the organizers of the national campaign “Vaccinate Yourself with Knowledge”. Its main objective is to spread awareness of the achievements of vaccinology – a science dealing with vaccination. An important element of the campaign is the website www.zaszczepsiewiedza.pl, containing verified information on sicknesses which can be prevented by vaccinations. The website was made in cooperation with respected experts in the fields. Partners include: the National Public Health institute, Polish Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Association, the National Chamber of Nurses and Midwifes, Polish Hygienic Society, Foundation for the Development of Pediatrics, the National Consultant for Pulmonary Diseases and the national Consultant for Neonatology.