Flu Vaccination Programs Are Good for Business
Tips for companies seeking to reduce absenteeism
Although summer is in full swing, it won’t be long before the cold weather returns and another flu season is upon us. The CDC recommends that all persons over six months old get vaccinated annually against the flu. Flu viruses change every year, so a flu shot will not be effective beyond a single season.
The Benefits of Flu Vaccination
Getting vaccinated against the flu not only protects you, but those around you: friends, family, coworkers, and particularly those who are more vulnerable to the serious complications of the flu.
Getting vaccinated can also make your illness milder if you do get the flu. (No vaccine is 100% effective.) Factors such as age, overall health, and the match between the flu vaccine and the viruses in circulation are all factors in determining effectiveness for the individual patient.
In addition, the flu vaccine is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions: especially cardiac and respiratory problems. And the flu vaccine helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to six months after birth.
How to Promote Flu Vaccination to Your Employees
The CDC provides many resources for business to help them prevent the flu in their workforce. One approach is to host an onsite flu vaccination clinic, offering the vaccine to employees at no or low cost. Or, work with an occupational health (OH) nurse in your area to identify and contract with an organization that is able to be at your workplace at hours designed to meet the needs of your employees. If neither of those approaches is feasible, refer your employees to pharmacies or other community vaccinators that make it easy to get vaccinated.
When hosting a flu vaccination clinic, get senior management buy-in. Frame employee vaccination as a business priority and create an organizational goal aligned with this effort. Identify a coordinator and/or team with defined roles and responsibilities. Schedule the clinic at convenient times to maximize participation.
The Benefits of Flu Vaccination to Your Organization
Can offering a Flu Vaccination Program at work benefit your organization? There is information available showing that vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in the rate of flulike illness, resulting in fewer days of illness and less absenteeism. The 50-to-64-year age group should be targeted as high priority in future vaccination programs.
A more detailed discussion of the benefits of vaccination against influenza can be found here.
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