Three common myths about flu shots for employees

20 October 2022

Heading into spring, it may seem as though any thoughts of the flu should be gone with the winter’s frost. However, while we are less likely to contract the flu, there is no time like the present to prepare for its inevitable return this fall.

Flu shots for employees go a long way towards preventing sick days and maintaining workplace morale. Misconceptions about flu shots are almost as common as the flu itself—so don’t let these myths get in the way. Since the flu season is long and flu vaccines reduce the risk of contracting it, it’s important to know the facts and take positive steps towards prevention.

Myth #1: The flu shot can cause the flu.

It’s a popular myth that getting the flu vaccine will actually give you the flu, but this is not the case. Some people who receive the vaccine experience soreness in their arm and others get low-grade fevers or aches. These minor side effects do not last long and are not the same thing as the flu, which is significantly more debilitating. In addition, it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. Therefore, some people can get the flu during that time.

Additionally, the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing infection, so it’s possible to still get the flu. However, the vaccine will usually help minimize the symptoms and help speed recovery.

Myth #2: Employees who got the flu shot last year don’t need it again.

For best results, employees need a flu vaccine every year to protect themselves during the flu season. Even when the viruses don’t change from season to season, protection from the vaccine weakens over time. The flu season begins in October and lasts through May. It’s a significant reason for absenteeism in the American workplace and accounts for millions of missed workdays each year. So right now is the ideal time to prepare for an on-site flu clinic to better protect your employees and your business. Flu shots should be an annual practice for all businesses.

Flu vaccines are just one component of our return-to-work solutions, which also include COVID-19 testing for employers. We can help your employees return to work safely with COVID-19 testing and stay safe with flu vaccines.

Myth #3: Only kids and the elderly are at high risk for the flu.

Think again! It is true that individuals over the age of 65, infants and young children are at greatest risk of flu complications and often experience more serious complications from the flu. However, it’s also true that pregnant women and people with heart disease, asthma, diabetes and other medical conditions are at an increased risk. See the CDC’s comprehensive list of those at high risk for flu complications.

People outside of these identified segments should also be vaccinated. This is especially applicable in offices and work sites with close, indoor working quarters where germs can spread quickly. The flu vaccine is recommended for the general population because it’s an effective way to prevent yourself, and others around you, from getting sick this season.

Our dedicated team is happy to work with you to coordinate an on-site flu clinic or flexible wellness program that meets your employees’ needs while accommodating your company style.

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