It is that time of year again when the colder weather is upon us and with the start of winter we will begin seeing more and more cases of the flu. With the flu starting a little later than normal this year, it is possible that it will peak later and could possibly even continue at high levels through early spring. Therefore, if you haven’t done so, it is still not too late to get the flu vaccine this year. For employers, this is a great opportunity to offer flu shots to your staff and keep your productivity levels up during the flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seasonal flu in the United States results in over 200,000 hospitalizations and accounts for over $10 billion in healthcare expenses each year. Additionally, the flu is the reason behind 75 million sick days per year, costing employers over $16 billion in lost productivity.
An annual flu vaccine is still the best way to protect against influenza and its potentially serious complications. There are many advantages to getting the flu vaccine. Not only can the vaccine prevent or lessen the symptoms, it can reduce the number of doctors’ visits, missed work and school, as well as decrease and even prevent flu-related hospitalizations. The flu vaccine has also been shown to be life-saving in children. In fact, a 2017 study showed that the flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu. Getting vaccinated also protects those around you who may be vulnerable to becoming very sick, such as babies, older adults, and pregnant women.
A few of the benefits of offering flu shots at work are as follows:
- Provides employees with a no-cost, convenient means to get immunized
- Improve vaccination rates in your employee population
- Reduce the risk of absenteeism from flu-related symptoms
- Create a more productive environment throughout flu season
- Reduce healthcare spending on flu-related claims
A flu shot protects individuals against the influenza virus strains that scientific research indicates to be most common during the upcoming season. Flu shot effectiveness can vary, but even during years when flu shot effectiveness is reduced, vaccination offers substantial benefits, including a reduction in severe flu outcomes (like hospitalization or death). So if you are looking for a simple way to show your employees that you care about their health and at the same time, a way to keep the business running at maximum productivity during the flu season, you may want to look into offering flu shots at the next staff meeting.
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