Thursday, January 15, 2009

Research Shows Workplace Benefits of Flu Vaccination of Older Workers

Workers age 50-64 who received influenza vaccine lost substantially fewer days of work and worked fewer days while ill, according to a study published in the February 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. As reported in "Burden of Influenza-Like Illness and Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination among Working Adults Aged 50–64 Years", among unvaccinated study participants, influenza-like illnesses were associated with 45% of all days of illness during the flu season, but, with vaccination, a substantial reduction of almost 45% in the risk of illness was observed as well as a reduction of more than 60% in the numbers of days of illness, work loss, working while ill, and days in bed.
According to study author Kristin Nichol, MD, of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, "The implications are that the prevention of influenza-like illnesses can have a huge impact on the health and work productivity of adults 50 to 64, and we should do more to make sure that this high priority group is vaccinated. It is a win-win for the worker with fewer illnesses, days of illness, days in bed, etc. and for the employer with improved worker productivity."
Sources: Infectious Diseases Society of America Public Release (January 13, 2009); Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy "Study finds flu vaccine benefits for older workers" (January 14, 2009)

No comments: