Vaccines are important for improving wellness in the workplace. As a business owner, you can offer free or low-cost vaccinations for your employees and their family members. This makes it easier for your employees to get critical vaccines and cuts down on their chances of becoming ill.
The Importance of Vaccinations
There’s a lot of misinformation about vaccinations, but your employees should know the facts. Make no mistake: vaccines work, and they’re safe. Children should be immunized to protect their health and the community, and adults can also be affected by conditions that can be prevented by vaccinations, such as influenza, pneumonia or tetanus, as detailed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How do vaccinations work? As Mayo Clinic explains, vaccines often contain a live but weakened virus that offers immunity to diseases such as measles, mumps, or chicken pox. Some, such as the polio vaccination, may also contain an inactivated or dead virus. When you receive the immunization, your body reacts with an immune response that creates antibodies against that particular virus. If you’re exposed to the virus in the future, your body will have the antibodies in place to fight the infection so you don’t get sick. Vaccines go through a rigorous review process before being introduced to the general population.
How Vaccines Can Help at the Workplace
If your employees get vaccinated, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in health care costs and lost productivity from sick days.
- According to the CDC, the flu costs $10.4 billion in health care costs each year, plus $6.2 billion in lost productivity. These costs include 75 million sick days and 200 million days of reduced work productivity yearly among adults aged 18–64.
- Unvaccinated employees may also increase exposure risks to elderly co-workers or immune-compromised colleagues.
- Lost productivity can result not only from adults getting sick, but also from parents staying home to care for sick children.
What Can You Do?
As an employer, you can encourage vaccination in a number of ways:
- Host an immunization clinic at your workplace for flu shots. You can schedule these with a community mass vaccinator.
- If an on-site clinic isn’t possible, give employees time off to get vaccinated.
- Make sure your health plans cover vaccinations.
- Provide educational materials about the safety and effectiveness of immunizations. Advocate for vaccines in your internal communication.
Remember, although hosting vaccination clinics and providing informational materials may require an up-front investment, the money you can save in the long run makes it a worthy consideration.
Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and an attorney with expertise in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and Millionaire Blueprints magazine and has worked as a marketing consultant for ministries and as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.