Urge your employer to run pertussis vaccinations

I wrote a little note to my company's Corporate Responsibility team, HHH, a few days ago.


To: All HHH Contacts

I’m not sure if you’re all aware of the recent pertussis (whooping cough) death at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.


Australia is now in the midst of what is quite justifiably being called an epidemic, and children are dying.

Two years ago, 4-week-old Dana McCaffery died from Whopping cough at Lismore Base Hospital. Shortly afterwards, and as a direct consequence of the media coverage of Dana’s death, a group called “Stop the AVN” was formed.

We at Stop the AVN are focused on, and dedicated to, a two-pronged attack on Australia’s vaccination “debate”. First, we oppose anti-vaccination groups through regulatory oversight and reporting, as well as direct engagement. Secondly, and most importantly for the subject of this email, we advocate for vaccination and attempt to raise awareness of vaccination and infectious disease issues in Australia. Our aim is to make tragic headlines like the one above a thing of the past.

So, how does this relate to HHH?

I propose, in the wake of the urgent pleas of infectious disease experts, that we at [redacted] offer, underwrite and facilitate booster shots to [redacted] staff and their immediate families, and also that [redacted] take a leadership role in spreading this message to other businesses in Australia.

If our adult population are immunised, the chance of them passing an infection to an infant is drastically reduced. Pertussis immunity wanes quickly, from near 100% in its first year to around 50% in its tenth, and most adults are more than ten years from their last booster.

I can offer my time and contacts to help get this done.

Let me know if you can help with this initiative, or pass this on to your colleagues

Jason Brown


On Tuesday I was informed that budget is being allocated and that my employer will be funding and encouraging pertussis boosters for all eligible staff at the same time as the next flu shot round - slated for March/April.

I think this is a great result, and I think other people can easily do the same

You can help. If you work for a reasonably-sized corporate, hunt down your corporate responsiblity team and send them a message similar to the above. Ask to get pertussis boosters rolled out, ask the team to encourage staff to get boosters themselves, ask the team to help in any way they can to bring Australia's pertussis situation under control.

If you work at a smaller company, ask your boss to do whatever he or she can to raise awareness. Grab some posters and put them up in the break room. Talk to your colleagues. Pay special attention to any parents you work with, and ask them to spread the message too.

As importantly, ask people to spread this message to other organisations.

This can only be achieved by people power. Please help.


posted @ Friday, February 25, 2011 1:55 PM


Comments on this entry:

# re: Urge your employer to run pertussis vaccinations

Left by Shelley at 2/25/2011 2:23 PM
Awesome job!
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