During his 17 years in the corporate wellness industry, Alan Kohll, president and founder of TotalWellness, has heard every excuse in the book from employees about why they won’t get vaccinated for the flu. Many of these excuses, Kohll says, are built around myths, which he has shared for you to pass along to your employees.
Pass this list of common myths on to your workers to ensure they know the facts:
1. ‘I’ve heard you can get the flu from the flu shot’
Flu shots are currently made in one of two ways; either with:
- flu viruses that have been “inactivated” (killed) and are therefore not infectious, or
- with no flu viruses at all (e.g., recombinant influenza vaccine).
As a result, it’s scientifically impossible to get the flu from a flu vaccine.
2. ‘I don’t need to get the flu shot every year’
The most common strains of the influenza virus change from year to year. And since the flu shot isn’t the exact same from one year to the next, it’s recommended that you receive the vaccine annually.
3. ‘I’ve heard I can have serious side effects as a result of getting a flu shot’
This is incredibly rare and a result of serious allergic reactions to the vaccine. If these reactions do occur, it’s usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. And while these reactions can be life-threatening (as with any allergic reaction), effective treatments are available.
4. ‘I’m not eligible to receive the flu shot’
The only individuals who should not be vaccinated are children under six months of age and anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine. People with an egg allergy, moderate-to-severe illness and people with a history of Guillain–Barré syndrome should first consult their physician.
5. ‘Getting the flu isn’t a big deal, so I don’t really need the shot’
Aside from the short-term illness and missing work, the flu can have very serious consequences. Seasonal influenza is responsible for hospitalizing 200,000 people in the U.S. each year.
6. ‘I’m really healthy and don’t need it’
Even if you’re absolutely sure you’d be able to recover from the influenza virus, about 20% to 30% of people with the flu don’t show any symptoms. As a result, you could pass along the virus to a co-worker, family member or friend that is more vulnerable to the illness.
Don’t just get the flu shot for your health, but also for those around you.
Alan Kohll is the president and founder of TotalWellness, a corporate health and wellness solutions company that provides on-site flu shots.