Save the economy: line up for a flu shot.Colorado businesses are in for a real shot in the arm this flu season
While large corporations have long been advocates for curtailing flu, increasing numbers of small to mid-sized businesses will join this year's fight to keep Coloradans well and on the job. Following a recent direct-mail campaign, Denver's Visiting Nurse vis·it·ing nurse
A registered nurse employed by a public health agency or hospital to promote community health and especially to visit and administer treatment to sick people in their homes. Association (VNA VNA
Visiting Nurse Association ), a private, non-profit nursing company, boasts a whopping 40 percent increase in mid-sized businesses signing up for shots this year.
It's really a matter of dollars and sense.
The American Medical Association American Medical Association (AMA), professional physicians' organization (founded 1847). Its goals are to protect the interests of American physicians, advance public health, and support the growth of medical science. estimates that flu costs employers approximately $1 billion a year, or $65 per employee, in terms of absenteeism, overtime, interruption of service, lost or reduced sales and productivity. Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. estimate up to 50,000 Americans will die from the flu this year, mostly young children and seniors. And that's just the regular flu, not the pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. bird flu bird flu: see influenza.
or avian influenza
viral respiratory disease, mainly of birds including poultry and waterbirds but also transmissible to humans. everyone around the world is also worried about.
While Colorado ranks third in the nation for the number of flu vaccinations received by those 65 and older, privately initiated wellness programs help fill the gaps in covering Colorado's statewide target flu populations, especially those employed in the state's workforce. Health experts have found that the flu virus thrives in a typical office environment; they estimate one in four people will be infected in their offices this winter.
Yet much of the pain and suffering related to flu can be prevented. VNA spokeswoman Gayle Davis said when companies call VNA for information about workplace health clinics the nursing company offers, 90 percent of those clients sign up for one.
"The convenience and availability of the clinics are a value for everyone," said Davis. "Businesses are assured their employees are vaccinated and employees have the convenience of getting the shot at work."
While the price of the vaccine has more than tripled in the last seven years, those same higher prices have attracted a new generation of manufacturers, and pending those companies' FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration. approval, the price of vaccines should stabilize.
Employees see on-site clinics as a perk, especially when the employer picks up part or all of the fee. With the cost of a single shot this year climbing to about $25 a dose, more employers are chipping in to pay some of the fee for their workers.
And when they do, participation in shot programs increases. "We see a 50 percent higher participation than when they don't," says Bonnie Thomas, RN and president of Colorado Wellness Connection. "Some businesses even offer vouchers for employees unable to attend the on-site clinic. They can still go to select community clinics on their own--it's so important to vaccinate vac·ci·nate
To inoculate with a vaccine in order to produce immunity to an infectious disease such as diphtheria or typhus.
vac everyone." Of more than 1,000 businesses served by the VNA, approximately 40 percent either pay or share in the fee.
Yet even at $25, a flu shot is still considered the most inexpensive way to prevent the illness and its complications. And wellness campaigns at work are hugely cost-effective for companies. With flu-related medical-care/sick-leave costs running an estimated $150 per person--or put another way: $60 to $4,000 per illness averted--flu shots also decrease antibiotic use by 25 percent, reduce work absenteeism by 18 percent to 45 percent and reduce physician office visits for upper respiratory illness by up to 44 percent, according to health statistics.
Some businesses also invite family members to attend their health clinics. "This is added insurance," Thomas says. "Children are the number one spreaders of the bug." She also encourages businesses to dispel the myth that the shots will actually give people the flu. "This is simply not true," said Thomas.
But about those Baby Boomer babies who are still afraid of needles: Flu mist is available, but because it must be frozen prior to use, it usually is not available at workplace clinics. Still, there are no more excuses. You'll have to ask your doctor to deliver the vaccine that way, but it's far better than three days of misery at home and away from work.
RELEVANT URI Uri, in the Bible
Uri (y`rī), in the Bible.
1 Father of Bezaleel (1.)
2 Father of Geber (2.)
3 Porter. :
WWW WWW or W3: see World Wide Web.
(World Wide Web) The common host name for a Web server. The "www-dot" prefix on Web addresses is widely used to provide a recognizable way of identifying a Web site. .IMMUNIZECOLORADO.COM (1) (Computer Output Microfilm) Creating microfilm or microfiche from the computer. A COM machine receives print-image output from the computer either online or via tape or disk and creates a film image of each page.