Learn how to protect your employees and plan members
Millions of sick days are taken every year because of the flu, costing billions of dollars in lost productivity. This vile virus can lead to serious health consequences, including hospitalization and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that during the 2015-2016 flu season, over 300,000 people were hospitalized from the illness and an additional 12,000 people died. That is why it’s important to safeguard your employees and plan members from the flu virus.
The CDC recommends the flu shot as the single best way to prevent the flu; however, recent studies show that only approximately 40% of the American population get the vaccination. We want to help you and your employees avoid this awful ailment, so here are five motivating reasons to share with your employees and plan members on the importance of getting the flu shot, along with tips for protecting yourself against the nasty bug:
- Your smartphone could be killing you – We use our smartphones constantly, putting our fingers all over it and holding it up to our faces, but they’re little Petri dishes of germs. A cell phone has 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom, and you could be exposing yourself to the flu every time you use it.
Washing your hands is the best way to prevent transferring germs to and from your cell phone and is recommended by the CDC as a top means of preventing the spread of the flu virus. It is also important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home and work, particularly when someone is sick.
- You may be among the lucky ones, but your coworkers may not – According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 20% to 30% of people who carry the influenza virus never experience flu-like symptoms, but they can still pass them on to their coworkers who might not be so lucky. Getting the flu shot can help prevent spreading the illness to unlucky coworkers.
Additionally, when you are sick, it is important to stay home, avoid close contact with others, and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough to avoid spreading the virus.
- Believe it or not, the flu shot does not cause the flu – It is a common myth that getting the flu shot can give you the flu, but this is completely untrue. The reality is that it takes two weeks for the antibodies that protect you against the flu to develop in the body; therefore, if a person is exposed to the virus within those two weeks, they could still catch the flu. Also, it’s possible for a person to already have the virus in their system, they just weren’t showing symptoms yet.
While the flu shot protects against the most common strains of the flu based on extensive research, not all strains of the virus are covered. Some also experience side effects, such as achiness, but this is nothing compared to the actual flu.
- It can save lives in more ways than one – Not only does the flu shot protect against the potentially deadly virus, but a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that adults who got the flu shot were 36% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next year than those who did not receive the vaccine.
That’s because the flu causes inflammation that can then cause plaque built up in the arteries to dislodge and form blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
- Even if you don’t think you need it, you do – Many people think they don’t need the flu shot either because they’re young and healthy, they haven’t gotten the flu before, or they got the flu shot last year, but none of these are valid reasons. The CDC recommends that everyone over six months of age get the flu shot. They also recommend getting the flu shot every year to protect yourself, as well as others around you.
Additionally, you should practice good health habits to prevent catching the flu, including getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritious food, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Providing your employees with information on preventing the flu, along with offering the flu shot can help prevent the spread of the virus, keeping your staff healthy while cutting down on sick days and other health plan expenses due to complications from the illness.
EnvisionRx wants to help protect you and your employees and plan members from the icky illness, which is why we offer several cost effective options to plan sponsors. To get your plan started with a flu shot vaccine program, contact your account manager.