Flu Vaccine Sketch

This sketch was inspired by the announcement of a possible universal flu vaccine.

Human Resources (HR) Boss
Staff 1
Staff 2

ANNOUNCER: The influenza virus – much like unemployment figures or a healthy badger – is a constantly shifting target.  Seasonal flu vaccines rapidly become as much use as politicians: a prick with a promise that expires sooner than you think. Scientists at Imperial College London say they have made a “blueprint” for a universal flu vaccine. Their discovery raises some important Human Resources employment issues.

HR BOSS: Hi everyone. Did you all get a heads up on this “universal vaccine”?

STAFF 1: Yeah – sounds amazing. We should totes get some.

STAFF 2: But why the meeting? We’re just a doughnut factory. I don’t see-

HR BOSS: (INTERRUPTING) Have either of you the faintest idea what causes most of our sick leave?

STAFF 2: Er … being fat bastards? I keep saying we should stop them eating off the production line.

HR BOSS: Anyone …?

STAFF 1: Is it, like, back pain? Cos a lot of people don’t know how to align their chi and the spine is a stress channel.

HR BOSS: (UNDER BREATH) Oh god. (FULL VOICE) Hangovers, people. Hangovers. Look at this graph: Mondays are really awful, Tuesdays straggle in late, Wednesdays and Thursdays are ok, then Fridays seem to end earlier and earlier.

STAFF 2: Yep, sounds like my average week.

HR BOSS: I’ll ignore that. Alcohol costs this firm thousands.

STAFF 1: But what’s the connection with flu? I mean, I’m on a permanent natural high, so I never drink.


HR BOSS: Look at this graph. They don’t ring in and say “I’m still pissed from seventeen pints I had on Saturday.” The first thing that comes into their dehydrated heads is “Got a touch of flu. Can’t make it today.”


STAFF 1: I could hand out blue-green algae shakes if that would help?

STAFF 2: What, in the pub? That’s where they all are on Fridays.

HR BOSS: That’s my point. But now we can have them all vaccinated, they won’t be able to use the flu excuse. Ever. Again.

STAFF 2: Are we allowed to – er – make them have a vaccine?

HR BOSS: Well, I need to brainstorm some ideas to … “persuade” reluctant semi-alcoholics to get jabbed BEFORE they realise why. This is ninja HR, people. Hit them before they know we’re even there.

STAFF 1: I could lead a meditation group, and we could get them when they’ve shut their eyes. We could visualize something … unpricky.

STAFF 2: Don’t be daft. Last time you tried something like that we lost half a day because the jam line couldn’t aim straight.

HR BOSS: Any other ideas?

STAFF 2: I could stand by the punch cards and give everyone a friendly slap on the shoulder. Do it then. I could maybe say I need to cut my fingernails?

STAFF 1: Is this strictly ethical?

HR BOSS: If we don’t streamline our production we’ll be out of business in six months. Desperate times …

STAFF 2: Call for underhand, sub-legal measures. Count me in.

HR BOSS: Great. The first supply is in the medical room now. And if they bring out a spray we can modify the air-fresheners in the toilets. Oh – before you go – here.

STAFF 1: Ow!

HR BOSS: Gotta test it on someone. Chop chop. Let’s roll.