Organizations of every size know the challenges of flu season, from sick days to slowed productivity. On average, flu season costs employers $15 billion annually, outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimated.
Although flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses each year, busy workers may find it hard to make time. By hosting an on-site flu clinic, employers can provide a convenient alternative to the doctor’s office or pharmacy.
Making flu vaccination easy
At an on-site clinic, employees can get the flu shot without having to worry about transportation or time off. For businesses trying to maintain consistent operations during the fall and winter months, such a clinic can make all the difference.
Helping employees get the flu vaccine can:
- Reduce absenteeism
- Boost productivity
- Reduce the spread of the illness
- Reduce downstream medical costs
In addition, employers can arrange to have the COVID-19 vaccine available at the same site.
Not only does an on-site clinic promote wellness in the workplace, but it also saves money. When administered on site, flu vaccines often come at a reduced administration fee.
Flu activity on the rise
Businesses that postponed flu vaccination plans in previous years may find it time to reconsider, given these benefits. Another consideration is increased flu activity. After a quiet period at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cases has begun to rise.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated between 8 million and 13 million flu illnesses during the 2021-2022 flu season.
- By contrast, the agency was unable to generate estimates due to historically low numbers during the previous season.
The CDC recommends individuals get vaccinated in September and October, before flu season starts, because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October.
Healthy and happy workforce
When individuals skip the flu shot, they are more likely to get sick. Employees are less productive when they’re unwell, and they can spread the illness to their coworkers too.
Most adults with the flu may be contagious one day before the onset of symptoms and for as many as seven days afterward. If people come down with the flu, the CDC advises them to stay home from work for at least four or five days.
People who get the flu shot, meanwhile, lower their risk of illness and serious complications such as pneumonia.
Employees want to stay healthy and do their jobs well. Businesses want to maintain operations and minimize disruption. When they make it easy for employees to get the flu vaccine at an on-site clinic, everyone wins.