Making annual flu vaccination part of your health and wellness program at work offers many benefits to the employers and management.
- It reduces cost by reducing absences of employees because of sickness and checkup.
- It improves employee’s productivity at work.
- It reduces cost by decreasing time-missed at work because employees go to other clinics for vaccination.
- It improves employee’s morale
Ayoh Office Health answered the common questions about flu vaccination in the workplace.
Who are the members who will lead flu vaccination program?
The employer shall delegate a flu vaccine coordinator who will be working hand in hand with the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, the health care providers and their vaccine supplier.
In bigger companies, a purchasing representative is included in the team who will be monitoring the number of vaccines purchased by the company.
When should the company schedule their vaccination program for their employees?
Employees should avail flu vaccine before flu season begins which is usually during the last quarter of the year. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body; hence, the program must be completed before October.
Flu vaccine may still be offered during the flu season because it still can be beneficial.
Can the employees get flu even they are already vaccinated?
Yes, if they have already been exposed to a flu virus before their vaccination and if one is exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine.
Why is there a new flu vaccine every year?
Seasonal flu vaccines change frequently because researchers use the viruses for the vaccine based on which strains of the viruses that are likely to be circulating during the flu season. Yearly, you are not getting same content of flu vaccine but a different batch of strains of virus.
Why should we include the employee’s family in our annual vaccination?
Offering flu vaccination to employees’ dependents is beneficial to prevent exposure of flu virus outside the workplace. It will also prevent employees to not to go to work because they will bring their sick family to the hospital.
What is herd immunity?
Herd immunity or community immunity is the protection offered to everyone by high vaccination rates. If there are enough employees who were vaccinated this year, it will be more difficult for the disease to gain a foothold in the workplace.
The vaccinated employees can also help those individuals who can’t receive vaccinations—including those with chronic illnesses—by protecting them and reducing the likelihood of an outbreak that could expose them to the disease.
How can we store our vaccine?
Make sure that the vaccines are at the correct temperature at all times using proper procedures for vaccine storage.
Vaccines may be stored in the clinic’s refrigerator and the clinic team must monitor and document temperature monitoring and inventory regularly.
Can we allow employees to bring their vaccines home?
Yes, as long as they provide a qualified container and pack-out for vaccine transport and as long as they can ensure the proper temperature of the vaccine for storage.
What is meant by qualified container and pack-out?
Vaccines are very sensitive to temperature. Qualified containers and pack-outs are types of containers and supplies specifically designed for use when packing vaccines for transport to ensure they achieve and maintain desired temperatures for a set amount of time.
You may search in the internet some examples of “qualified container and pack-out”.
What are the important forms that are needed to prepare for the vaccination program?
- Monitoring sheet of list of employees who availed vaccines and those who were already vaccinated.
- Consent form which is an important document prior vaccination that include a statement that the employee allows the healthcare provider to administer her the vaccine through injection and her signature.
- Assessment Form is a checklist which includes eligibility screening questions such as if the employee is sick, allergic to medication or egg, pregnant or immunocompromised. This to document that the employee was checked prior vaccination to ensure that employees are well-adult.
- Waiver form if the employee decides to bring the vaccines home and have his/her personal doctor administered it to him/her.
- Employee’s vaccination record which include the name of the vaccines that were administered to the employee, date and how it was administered.
Where should we conduct our vaccination program?
You must find a spacious area in your office which can provide privacy to the employees and their dependents during vaccination.
You must avoid to conduct it in the company clinic because the company nurses and doctors accommodate other medical consultation.
How can we encourage employees to avail vaccination?
- Encourage managers and business leaders to get vaccinated first so that their subordinates will also be influenced.
- Engage employees by using incentives for flu vaccination ( Free vaccine, or discounted vaccine that may be applied to salary deduction, providing refreshments at the clinic, or holding a contest for the department with the highest percentage of vaccinated employees)
- Use promotional materials (such as posters, newsletters etc) about flu vaccination. Posters may be posted in break rooms, cafeterias, and other high-traffic areas.
- You may use the social media channels to promote flu vaccination!
Can employers also offer other vaccines?
Yes. Many companies are also offering cervical vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine at discounted price.
World immunization week is celebrated every last week of April to promote the use of vaccines to protect people and workers of all ages against diseases.
Ayoh Office Health supports this year’s theme #Protected Together, #VaccinesWork
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