Ratepayers fund free flu jabs

As New Zealanders line up in record numbers for flu vaccinations, ratepayers will be funding free flu injections for Councillors and staff across the whole Council group.

It is unclear exactly how long this has been offered, but it appears to have been several years.

Uptake of the offer is voluntary, and ranges from around one-quarter of Panuku Development Auckland’s 200 or so staff last year, to 45 percent, currently, of Auckland Transport’s 1809 employees.

Last year a total of 2695 Auckland Council employees were vaccinated at a cost of $67,375. This year Council has budgeted a similar amount, $65,000-$68,000, to provide free flu vaccinations, although it anticipates an increase in demand from staff. Auckland Transport’s health and safety department expects to pay around $25,000 and Watercare $6320.

No figures for ATEED or Regional Facilities Auckland were provided.

The total cost could therefore be expected to be in the vicinity of $100,000 or more across Council and its CCOs annually.

In the past, the vaccinations have generally been provided via on-site clinics during flu season.

However, given the Covid-19 restrictions, this year employees are getting their vaccinations from their local pharmacy or GP and then claim back the costs.

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