Why You Should Get a Flu Shot after the Holidays

By Eric Becker | 02/03/2016

Believe it or not, Flu season is still well under way and will be for some time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.” The good news is that there is still enough time to get your flu shot and protect yourself and others from the virus.

A study recently conducted by WebMD predicts this year’s cold and flu season will spike in early January. The website paired with Reckitt Benckiser, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, to develop an interactive map displaying a real-time analysis of the spread of the cold and flu.

As an employer, there a few steps you can take to ensure your employees are protected from the flu during this peak season.

Open Communication and Education about the flu

Be sure to openly communicate with your employees and let them know that flu season is currently at its peak and that there are options still available for flu shots. Encourage your employees to get their flu shot on a frequent and consistent basis and educate them on the benefits. You should also consider hosting a flu vaccination clinic in your workplace where professionals will come to you and provide the vaccination to your employees, thus limiting time away from work.

Concentra will offer the flu shot until the end of March as well as to those traveling to areas outside of the United Sates where the flu may be in season.

Develop flexible leave policies for sick workers

If any of your employees become ill with the flu it is important to let them know that is acceptable for them to stay home, without penalty.

The CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends, without the use of medication.

Not only does allowing for a leave period limit the potential amount of time an employee would have to take off from work if they became even sicker, but you also are protecting your healthy workers from contracting the flu from your sick workers.

Promote a Hygienic Culture

Washing your hands and knowing the proper cough etiquette are two of the easiest ways to stop the virus from spreading. Posting reminders in the form of flyers, signs, or e-mails outlining the proper hand hygiene or cough etiquette can save your employees from becoming ill and promotes a hygienic culture. Also reminding your employees to keep their workstations clean is another effective tactic when preventing flu outbreak.

Soap, water, disposable towels and alcohol-based hand rubs should be easily accessible to your employees at all times.