“I don’t have time to get a flu shot”, “I don’t want to wait in line”, “I haven’t had the flu or been sick in years”, “Last time I got a flu shot, I got sick”.
These are all thoughts and statements that I have said, as well as ones I have heard other people say. Well, there would be no room for excuses if your workplace held in-house flu shot clinics, and this seems to be the new trend. According to Alan Kohll in a study done by the Huffington Post, the widespread nature of the flu can cost businesses $7 million worth of sick days, 5%-20% of our population will contract the flu, and that is why the flu can definitely be considered a concern for companies, large and small. There is an increase in companies that are offering wellness programs, and in general these programs seem to have a positive impact on company culture. Flu shot clinics are just another example, they are convenient and encourages the whole workplace to be involved.
The biggest misconception in our culture during flu season is that “flu shots don’t work & sometimes you can even end up getting the flu”. Not only do the flu shot clinics come to your work place for the ease of receiving the vaccine, but they also educate their patients. There is no scientific evidence that backs up the “anti-vaccine” myths, and so the vaccine administrators are given an opportunity to debunk those myths and also educate the employees on the importance of this vaccine and other factors of why being healthy is important. Healthy bodies have a better shot at avoiding influenza and accepting the vaccine as a defense against the influenza. According to the CDC, vaccine effectiveness can vary, but recent studies show that the risk was reduced by 50%-60% among the overall population. That’s a huge percentage and can impact an entire workplace in a positive way.
I wonder if a majority of the people took advantage of the accessibility. Even if they didn’t get a flu shot and are still skeptical about the validity of them, would they take the time to hold a conversation with a practitioner and become more educated on why they are important and how they are beneficial, would the employee be convinced? Would sick day rates during flu season decrease? I would love to see a study with some of the results from a company that invited a flu clinic in to see if it produced positive results.