The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic spread, it is important for everyone to get their flu vaccine. With the flu season soon approaching, and the existing coronavirus, experts agree that every person must be vaccinated against the flu to avoid the chills, aches, fatigue, and also save healthcare costs. Upon vaccination, the severity of flu and its side effects can be lessened, or even prevented, ensuring health and wellness against the flu.
Why Get Flu Vaccines?
Simple reasons why getting a flu vaccine is important –
- Reduces the severity of flu, if infected
- Protects people around the infected person
- Don’t have to get off from work
- Reduced healthcare costs
Although the flu vaccine is not known to protect against COVID-19, it could still help in reducing the effect of other flu-related concerns on the body. Also, with the healthcare systems focusing more on the COVID-19 cases, they will not have to divert their time for other flu cases too.
Here are a couple of other reasons why getting the flu vaccine is good for health and wellness.
1. Getting Just Once A Year
Every year, the flu viruses evolve, a new strain circulates around in flu season. And so, the vaccine shot taken last year may not be effective against this year’s strain. So, taking the flu shot once every year before the flu season will help –
- Against infection from new flu viruses of the season
- Provide immunity as it decreases with time and age
2. Covered By Your Health Insurance
Owing to the severity, loss, and preventative measures, most insurance companies cover the expenses of the flu shots. Also, many employers are happily ready to have their employees covered for the flu vaccine. Since flu vaccines are considered as preventative services, like the annual health check-ups, the insurance companies will cover 100% of the vaccine cost.
Pointers to know –
- Consult a representative from a reputable insurance company
- Check the company’s benefits plan thoroughly
- Check if there are any copays required to cover
3. Reduces Absenteeism Rates
Apart from regular fatigue, headaches, and chills, flu is also accompanied by camps and weakness, forcing employees to take off from work. Also, the possibility of spreading the virus to co-workers is high. A 2018 study showed that of all the adults who were hospitalized due to flu, the ones who were vaccinated showed 59% less severity, and were less likely to be admitted to the ICU, compared to those who did not get vaccinated. The vaccinated ones spent 4 days less in the ICU than the people who were not vaccinated.
A CDC report revealed that just a few less than half of the Americans got the flu vaccine shot in 2019, and almost 500,000 people were affected and hospitalized due to the flu. This not only costed the companies in healthcare costs, but also several days of missed productivity. According to a New Jersey Business & Industry Association report, the 2019 flu season alone calculated an estimated loss of $17 billion in the corporate industry.
4. Easily Available
With the flu season approaching soon, many flu vaccination centers and clinics pop up around. The pharmacies across every street come up with advertisements. The flu shots can be received at the pharmacies, flu clinics, and a physician’s office. Flu shots are easy to administer, and even pharmacists can give them.
5. It’s Safe
People usually think flu shots, like other vaccinations, may have side effects. However, people who have taken the shots know that there are no or very rare serious complications upon taking the flu vaccination. While the normal side effects may include –
- Muscle aches
The most common side effect is a sore arm and redness at the injection site.
What Employers Can Do For Employee Wellness?
The best time to receive the flu shots is before the influenza season sets in. Even if it is missed before the season starts, it can be taken anytime along the season. Employers can arrange for flu clinics at their worksite in the early fall to ensure all your employees get their vaccination on time to ensure good health and wellness. Also, employers can assign wellness challenges through corporate wellness programs, to cultivate healthy habits in the employees that help in achieving holistic wellness.