Vaccines, as a disease prevention method is essential to improve workplace wellness. Employers may loath funding vaccination programs without understanding the economic consequences. As a business owner or manager, you can offer free or low-cost vaccinations for your employees. This makes it easier for your employees to get critical vaccinations and reduces their chances of becoming ill. This in turn may just be thing that saves or grow your business.
The Importance of Vaccinations at the Workplace
Although there is still a very low awareness about adult vaccinations, your employees should know the facts. Make no mistake: vaccines work, and they are safe. The reason adults need to be vaccinated is that even though children are more susceptible to illnesses, adults may transmit germs (without being symptomatically ill) to children and cause them to be sick. Other than that, adults spend at least a third of their day at the office; mostly in a closed, air-conditioned space. This exposes them to germs from direct contact with co-workers, contact with objects around the office (computer keyboard, desks, elevator buttons, etc), and through airborne and food transmissions. Some of the most common infectious diseases that circulates and causes employees to be sick around the workplace are preventable through vaccination; such as influenza, typhoid fever, hepatitis A & B, chicken pox, etc.
How do vaccinations work?
When you receive an immunization, your body reacts with an immune response that creates antibodies against that particular virus or bacteria. If you’re exposed to the virus in the future, your body will have the antibodies in place to fight the infection efficiently and effectively. This prevents you from getting sick. Adults need to be vaccinated because over time the antibodies may weaken, or the virus or bacteria may have evolved. Another reason why vaccination is necessary is that over the last decade, antibiotics resistance towards certain diseases such as Typhoid Fever is rising. By preventing the disease from happening, we can reduce the chances of depending on antibiotics or antivirus to cure an illness.
How Vaccines Can Help at the Workplace
If your employees get vaccinated, you can save a lot of money in medical expenditure costs and lost of productivity from sick-leaves.
- According to the CDC, the flu costs 10.4 billion USD in health care expenditures each year, plus another 6.2 billion USD in lost of productivity. These include 75 million sick days and 200 million days of reduced work productivity annually among adults in the age range of 18-64 years.
- Healthy employees who are vaccinated against the flu take nearly half the number of doctor’s visits for upper respiratory illnesses, compared to unvaccinated workers. Around 43% reduction of absenteeism has been noticed in a vaccinated workplace according to several studies. This is just the number for flu vaccinations.
- Unvaccinated employees may also increase the risks of spreading germs to elderly co-workers or immune-compromised colleagues. This still happens even though the aforementioned employee does not appear to be symptomatically sick.
- Typhoid Fever in Indonesia is an endemic diseases, and is highest in Jakarta. According to a research in 2011, the average cost of care for hospitalised Typhoid Fever cases reaches 432 USD per case per person.
- When one person in the office is ill from a disease, there is a high chance that other employees will catch it. These leads to a domino effect of workplace disease outbreak. When more people are sick in the office, it goes without saying that the medical expenditures increases proportionally.
- Lost productivity can result not only from adults getting sick, but also from parents staying home to care for their sick children.
What Can You Do To Increase Productivity In The Workplace?
As an employer, you can encourage vaccination to your workplace in a number of ways:
- Host a health talk at your workplace for your employees. You can request us to schedule it for FREE here.
- Host a vaccination day at your workplace for common transmittable diseases.
- Encourage and advocate your employees for vaccination in your internal communication.
- Keep in mind that although vaccination may require an upfront investment, the money you save in the long run makes it a worthy consideration. Vaccination is much more cost-effective than the combined cost of employee’s medical care expenditure, loss of productivity from sick-leaves, and worse, loss of human resource assets. A study in 2010 reveals a cost-saving of up to 1,494 USD per influenza-vaccinated employee per year.
Benefits For The Business Owners
As a smart and responsible business owner, paying extra attention to your corporate workers actually will do you good in the long run, such as:
- A healthier, more productive and loyal workforces.
- Increases the workplace ‘Herd Immunity’ to reduce the spread of the virus
- Limits employee disruption and increased workloads for employee that are not infected
- Significant reduction in medical expenditures on employees’ health treatments.
- Reduces absence due to medical appointments and hospitalization
- Undeniable business growth and exemplary working environment.
- Meeting your Corporate Social Responsibility by allocating the budget internally.
- Demonstrates your company’s interest in the workforce health and wellbeing.
- Increases your company’s marketability both internally and socially
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