To the chagrin of needle phobias everywhere, the time to get your flu shot is now. Last winter, an estimated 80,000 Americans died of influenza and its complications, marking the highest number of deaths from the disease in at least 40 years, according to the AP. One of the key factors behind this impressive number was the decreasing amount of people getting their shots. And when it comes to flu vaccines, it's not just a problem on an individual level – even if you get the shot yourself, if the people around you do not, it can contribute to the spread of the disease. Considering that most of the average person's days are spent in their workplace, here are some ways to convince your colleagues to get the flu vaccine, help keep themselves and everyone around them, less at risk.
First, arm yourself with some facts to convince your colleagues. The flu causes American employees to lose 17 million workdays annually, and anyone with the flu knows it's not exactly a day off. As The Washington Post According to reports, fewer than four in 10 adults in the United States received flu vaccine last winter. All six months or more should be getting an annual flu vaccine, ideally by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If your co-worker doubts the effectiveness of the shot, you can start by explaining how it works. The flu vaccine causes the antibodies to develop in the body around two weeks after vaccination, providing protection against infection by the vaccine viruses. While getting an injection does not guarantee 100% assurance that you will not get sick, studies show that influenza vaccination reduces the risk of illnesses from 40 to 60% among the general population.
Even if you get sick after being vaccinated, the shot can help decrease the severity and shorten the duration of your illness. "The flu vaccine should be a routine part of care … it's like wearing a seat belt or an air bag, it's not perfect, but it practically reduces the risk in half," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. , Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News.
Faced with such shocking statistics as such a preventable phenomenon, it will be difficult for your co-worker to challenge the professionals to get the chance of their own health.
If self-concern is not enough to influence your co-worker, tell him that getting a chance is also for the greater good. It is well known that influenza can cause serious illness, hospitalization and death, but populations, including older adults, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain chronic medical conditions are especially susceptible to influenza, according to the CDC. Getting the injection helps keep the general levels of the flu low and helps prevent it from spreading, protecting the minority from people who can not be vaccinated, and populations that are especially vulnerable to the development of complications from the disease. As Outline has noted, children in areas where parents chose not to vaccinate their children spread these (preventable) illnesses more quickly in their communities.
Finally, show your co-workers that they have options. If your workplace does not offer free flu shots, they are also available at most pharmacies, including Rite Aid, Walgreens, and the CVS Minute Clinic for a low co-payment. And even if it sounds like a minor nuisance, the more people are encouraged to take the flu vaccine, the better the general population will be. At the very least, this can help them grab the subway during the morning with a little more safety.