To the annoyance of spiders everywhere now is the time to get your flu shot. An estimated 80,000 Americans died of influenza and its complications last winter, the highest death toll for the disease for at least 40 years, according to AP. One of the key factors in this amazing number was the dwindling number of people getting their shots fired. And when it comes to flu shots, it's not just a problem at an individual level – even if you get the injection yourself, if people in your area do not, it can help spread the disease. Considering that most of the days of an average worker are spent at work, there are some ways to persuade your colleagues to get the flu to put less of their own and everyone else around them.
First of all, arm yourself with some facts to convince your colleagues. The flu causes American employees to miss 17 million working days each year, and anyone who has the flu knows it's not just a fun day. As The Washington Post According to reports, fewer than four out of ten adults in the United States had influenza vaccines last winter. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone six months or older should receive an annual flu shot, ideally by the end of October.
If your coworker doubts the effectiveness of the shot, you can first explain how it works. Influenza vaccinations lead to the formation of antibodies in the body about two weeks after the vaccination, which provide protection against infection with the virus of the vaccine. Although a shot does not guarantee 100 percent that you will not get sick, studies show that a flu shot reduces the risk of disease in the population between 40 and 60 percent.
Even if you still get sick after vaccination, the shot may help to reduce the severity and shorten the duration of your illness. "The flu vaccine should be a routine part of grooming … it's like wearing a seatbelt or airbag, it's not perfect, but it's actually reducing the risk by half," Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, told Buzzfeed News.
Given these distressing statistics for such an avoidable phenomenon, it will be difficult for your colleague to convince the professionals to get the shot for their own health.
If concern about your own health is not enough to affect your colleagues, tell them that a shot is also for the good of you. It is well known that the flu can lead to serious illness, hospitalization and death, but populations, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain chronic conditions, are particularly susceptible to the flu, according to the CDC. The shot helps to minimize the general extent of influenza and prevent it from spreading, and protects the minority of people who can not be vaccinated, as well as the populations that are particularly vulnerable to the development of complications from the disease are. According to The Outline, in areas where parents refused to vaccinate against their children, children spread these (preventable) diseases faster in their communities.
Finally, show your employees that they have options. If your workplace does not offer free flu shots, they are also available at most drugstores, including Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS 'Minute Clinic for low co-pay. And even if it acts as a minor annoyance, the more people are encouraged to get the flu, the better the overall population. At the very least, it could help them to hold onto the subway floor during the morning commute with a little more security.