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Mandatory Vaccinations Help Decrease Sick Days Taken

  • November 27, 2013
  • RPh on the Go

Mandatory-Vaccinations-Help-Decrease-Sick-Days-Taken Healthcare personnel who get flu shots during flu season are less likely to use sick days for flu-related symptoms, says new research conducted by the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial. The trial examined the results from 1,077 health care providers, which were conducted at various outpatient sites throughout the country. Pharmacies can do their part to ensure their employees remain illness-free by helping their employees obtain flu vaccines during the peak illness season. The study concluded that the clinicians who got their flu vaccine within a 12-week period during acute respiratory illness season reduced their number of sick days from 0.92% to 0.55%. The sites which were subjected to mandatory flu vaccine policies found that their rates were 88.3% as opposed to only 58.5% at a VA or other facility where obtaining the vaccine was not a requirement.

Pharmacies can help ensure that their employees are not spreading the influenza virus by enforcing a vaccination policy at their location. Whether or not healthcare practitioners choose to get vaccinated during the peak season varies on many factors, lest of which are location and financial standings. Pharmacies can help determine whether the flu vaccine is covered under their employees’ current insurance plans. If vaccines are not covered, you can look into other funding sources to help individuals pay for the cost of the vaccine.

The evidence supported by the study concluded that fewer sick days were taken by employees who had been required to get the influenza vaccine. No difference was noted between VA sites and private sites on hand washing and wearing facial protective equipment. Fewer sick days are used by healthcare professionals when they are required to obtain a flu vaccine.

Pharmacies can educate their employees and community health care professionals on the importance of getting vaccinated this flu season. Individual clinic and pharmacy requirements may vary, though the importance of obtaining a flu vaccine may be stressed by supervisors to their personnel. Preventing respiratory ailments in the workplace can be achieved through education on the importance of the influenza vaccine, stressing early vaccination, and ensuring that all personnel are required to obtain a vaccine if your pharmacy has this policy implemented. Enforcing a vaccine policy can be difficult, and those in managerial positions must ensure that all employees obtain their influenza vaccine within your location’s preferred window.

Ensuring a healthy team of healthcare employees is critical as we head into cold and flu season. Keeping your pharmacy employees healthy can start with requiring employees to obtain the influenza vaccine before the start of peak illness season. Throughout the winter, many healthcare professionals will be exposed to individuals with colds, flu, or other respiratory infections. Vaccination will help prevent pharmacists and staff at pharmacy sites from falling ill, and ensure that less sick days are taken throughout your location.

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