Fall is coming, and that means the start of flu season. Every year, millions of Americans contract the flu. That can lead to several days of illness, missed time from work or school, and costs for visits to doctors and sometimes stays in the hospital. The flu can be life-threatening to young children, senior citizens, and people with weakened immune systems.
Much of this can be prevented by getting a flu shot. Despite the benefits of getting a flu shot and the safety of the vaccine, many adults do not get vaccinated for a variety of reasons.
How Employers Encourage Their Workers to Get Flu Shots
Some employers take measures to urge their employees to get flu shots to better protect everyone in the workplace from illness. Some companies encourage their employees to get flu shots through educational campaigns that explain the benefits to workers, their families, their fellow employees, and the general public. Some sponsor contests and offer financial incentives.
Some employers make getting a flu shot easy by offering vaccinations at work. This eliminates a barrier that prevents many people from getting vaccinated. Studies have found that when flu shots are offered at work, employees are likely to take advantage of the program.
Policies Requiring Flu Shots
Other employers, particularly those in the healthcare field, make getting a flu shot a condition of employment and threaten disciplinary action against workers who fail to comply. If a company requires employees to get flu shots, it must offer exceptions in some cases. Employees must be able to opt out if they have a medical reason, such as a prior allergic reaction or certain medical conditions. Employees can also decide not to get a flu shot if they have a sincere religious objection. In those cases, the employer may make an accommodation and require the employee to take other protective measures, such as wearing a mask to protect others.
A company that requires flu shots should have a written policy that is shared with employees in advance so they have time to review and discuss it. The policy should explain the reason for the requirement and provide for exceptions and accommodations.
Protect Yourself and Others from the Flu
Getting a flu shot is a simple and effective way that people can protect themselves, their families, their coworkers, and others from the flu. With flu season coming up, now is the time to start to think about getting vaccinated.
Medical insurance generally covers flu shots. If you do not have medical insurance, Petruzelo Insurance can help you compare quotes from several top companies. Contact us today to learn more.