Why should people get the flu vaccine?
- Lowers the risk of catching the flu in the first place.
- Lessens the severity of the flu even if you do catch it.
- Reduces lost work time, doctor visits, subsequent hospitalizations and even death.
- Contributes to immunity in the overall community, which helps protect those who can’t get vaccinated due to allergies and weakened immune systems.
Influenza has caused 12,000 TO 56,000 deaths annually since 2010 in the US.
How does the flu vaccine work?
- The body is exposed to a killed or weakened version of the influenza virus during the vaccination.
- The body develops antibodies to provide protection against the specific viral strains.
- The process usually takes about 2 weeks.
How can you protect your employees and workplace?
- Place educational information regarding influenza throughout high-traffic areas.
- Educate your staff on benefit coverage for the influenza vaccine, including where they can receive the vaccine.
- Encourage staff to stay home if they have symptoms of the flu, particularly if there is a local outbreak.
- Provide tissue and hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility to ensure appropriate precautions are taken.
Who should get vaccinated?
- anyone 6 months of age or older
- certain high-risk populations:
- Children less than 5 years old
- Pregnant women (including women up to two weeks postpartum)
- Morbidly obese (body mass index > 40)
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives (at higher risk of flu complications)
- Nursing home and long-term care facility residents
- People with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, compromised immune systems or other serious health conditions
Can I still get the flu even if I get vaccinated?
This can happen for a couple reasons
- The flu shot takes about 2 weeks to take effect, and you may be infected before or during that period.
- You may be exposed to a different variation or strain of the flu virus.
- Effectiveness can vary from person to person and their individual immune function.
The good news
Studies show that those who receive the flu shot but still get the flu experience milder symptoms and a shorter duration of sickness versus those who do not.
Employers Health can help
- One way to increase employee vaccination rates is to provide an on-site flu clinic.
- Employers Health has offered on-site flu clinics to our Ohio & Kentucky members at a discounted rate for more than 10 years.
- Absenteeism could be as high as 40% during the peak of the flu.
- It is best to receive the flu shot when influenza begins to spread in September and October.
- Flu season peaks between December-February.
- Based on published analyses, estimated savings for employers can be as much as $80 for each employee vaccinated by Employers Health. Savings result from not only the discounted price, but also projected reductions in health care costs and lost productivity due to illness.