More companies – particularly those in the senior care and health industries – are beginning to mandate that their employees have vaccinations. Specifically, the annual flu shot. Although, some organizations are also including additional immunizations, like pneumococcal and shingles. To help employees meet these requirements, companies are not only covering the cost of the vaccinations, but they are even providing the care on-site.
Overall, these new requirements have been positively received. Which – considering the wide-reaching benefits of vaccinations – this should come as no surprise.
Keep Employees Healthy
It is estimated that, every year, between five and 20% of the U.S. population will come down with the flu. Having a fifth of your employee base out of work sick can be absolutely devastating for companies, particularly as peak flu months (December to February) can be especially difficult to find additional help to come in and pick up the slack. On average, it can take about a week for flu symptoms to go away, however, coughs and fatigue can last for a couple weeks. By mandating that your employees get an annual flu shot, you can help keep your staff healthy – and in the office.
Keep Residents Healthy
Particularly for senior care residents, something like a cough can quickly turn into a more serious medical issue. And remember that it can take a few days before flu symptoms can even start showing, which means that – before you know it – you could have a lot of sick residents on your hands. Up to 20,000 individuals die from the flu every year. This number disproportionately includes senior citizens and others with lowered immune systems.
Keep the Community Healthy
The bottom line is that getting the flu shot helps keep everyone safe and healthy. It not only prevents individuals from getting the flu themselves, but it helps keep the flu from spreading around the workplace and the larger community. Educating your staff on the importance of vaccinations is incredibly important. But you should not stop there.
In addition to your employees, talk to your residents and their families about the efforts your organization is taking to protect against disease. Unfortunately, there are many misperceptions floating around about dangers associated with vaccinations. Provide educational materials in common areas and consider including some of these health facts in a memo that can be shared with residents’ families. Knowledge is power and the key to keeping us healthy.