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Flu prevention - what you need to know to keep your employees healthy

Offer flu protection to your employees onsite

This flu season, protect your workforce with tips and tools from Kaiser Permanente HealthWorks. Read about the risk factors, keep employees informed with downloadable flyers and flu FAQs, arrange for a flu shot clinic at your workplace, and check out helpful links to state and federal resources.

Prevent the flu in three steps

Studies show that seasonal flu shots prevent 70 to 90 percent of healthy adults under 65 from getting the flu when there's a close match to the current viruses. That's why flu shots are number one of the three recommendations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers for keeping employees healthy.

1. Get a flu vaccination

This year's vaccination protects against three types of flu. Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated, even if they had a shot last year.

Children under 9 years old need two doses of seasonal flu vaccine if:

  • They've never had a seasonal flu vaccination before
  • Their health care practitioner recommends it

The second dose should be given at least one month after the first dose.

2. Stop the spread of germs

Just a few changes can help create a safer work environment and prevent the spread of flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or a hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities (your fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine)
  • You can find out more about germs in the workplace in an excerpt from Healthy Employees, Healthy Business: Easy, Affordable Ways to Promote Workforce WellnessKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites. (get a free downloadable copyKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.)

3. Take flu antiviral medicines if your doctor prescribe them

If you get the flu, and especially if you are pregnant, have a chronic illness or a weakened immune system, your doctor may prescribe flu antiviral medicine. These may help prevent more serious complications and shorten the illness.

Luckily, most people who catch the flu have mild symptoms and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. Many over-the-counter medicines can help decrease fever, muscle aches, coughing and other symptoms. In addition, stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Don’t return to work until your fever has gone away for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medicine).

Get information on caring for yourself at home.

Worksite flu clinics

This year, let HealthWorks bring flu protection to all of your employees right at the worksite. For a fee paid by the employer,* caregivers will come to your location to give your employees the flu vaccine they need to keep them well and at work during the dreaded flu season. You can start scheduling clinics for these dates now:

  • Check back in August for the 2014 flu clinic schedule

All employees are eligible on a fee-for-service basis, even if they're not Kaiser Permanente members. Scheduling fills up quickly, so be sure to contact your broker or Kaiser Permanente representative as soon as possible.

To promote your flu clinic to employees, download our HealthWorks flu shot clinic marketing materials. Type in the date(s) and location and post throughout your worksite.

Local flu clinic information

Our flu shot clinics open in late September at most locations in California. Vaccinations are available to members at no cost.

Your Kaiser Permanente members can find this information at Or they can call toll free:

  • Northern California: 800-573-5811 (800-KP-FLU-11)
  • Southern California: 866-706-6358 (866-70-NO-FLU)

Resources for you and your employees

Here's information to keep your employees healthy this flu season. You can also find out what the CDC and the California Department of Public Health recommend for employers.

Materials to share with all of your employees
Information from public health organizations

 "Questions and Answers: Seasonal Flu ShotKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed July 26, 2011

* Note that worksite flu vaccinations provided by Kaiser Permanente are not a covered health plan benefit, and are billed to employers on a fee for service basis.

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