It’s always a good idea to receive the annual flu shot, but it may be more important than ever this year. The CDC estimates that around 38 million people were diagnosed with flu during the 2019-2020 season — a moderate level of severity, perhaps due in part to the mitigation measures that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Many medical experts fear that with less restrictive COVID-19 safety measures in place as vaccinations continue to rise, the coming flu season may be more severe than the last. As the Delta variant continues to spread, and more variants potentially emerge, it’s important that Americans understand the risk that comes with fighting multiple similar viruses at once — a risk that can be mitigated substantially by receiving both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot.
Adam Fritz, Eden’s Medical Director of Workplace Pop-Ups, says that one of the biggest hesitations people have about receiving a flu shot is that it doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu. “However, studies show that vaccinated people who get the flu are at less risk of severe impact and hospitalization,” Fritz said.
Fritz also acknowledges that 2021 poses more danger for flu transmission. “We were in a completely different work environment a year ago — there were significantly fewer people returning to work,” he said. Now, with many returning to offices that may or may not have a workplace mask policy in place, it’s imperative for many employers to start considering flu shots for their workforce.
“The more people in the workplace, the higher the transmission possibilities,” Fritz remarked. “By getting the flu vaccine you’re actually reducing the amount of transmission in your workplace. Even if it’s reducing your likelihood of transmission by 20 to 40 percent, it’s still very effective.”
In 2020, employers saw firsthand how COVID-19 impacted the physical and emotional health of their employees. After seeing how hours and revenue can be impacted by illness, they recognized that one of their biggest assets is employee health.
The recommended timeline for receiving a flu vaccine is in September and October, according to Fritz. “Most flu outbreaks in America tick up slowly in November and December and you usually see the blunt explosion of the flu in between January and March,” he said. “It takes about two weeks for your body to develop antibodies against the flu after getting the vaccination. The best time to receive your vaccine is in the fall in order to prepare for the anticipated flu season.”
WORKPLACE FLU VACCINE POP-UPS
One easy way to mitigate the risk of flu spreading through your workforce this year? Opt for a pop-up vaccine clinic. Eden Health can deploy a pop-up team directly to your office or worksite and administer flu shots to employees. Having that onsite care available to employees eliminates the burden of scheduling a vaccine and taking time away from work to receive one.
According to Fitz, the demand for Eden’s pop-up services is five times what it was last year, as employers focus on keeping their employees safe and healthy once they’re back in an office environment.
It’s incredibly beneficial for the employer from a cost perspective as well. “You’ve saved your company money if one pop-up prevents even three or four people from getting sick and being out of work for a week,” said Fritz.
To learn more about Eden’s pop-up services, contact a member of our team to request a demo today.