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6 best practices for hosting an employer-sponsored on-site flu shot event

Each year, seasonal flu causes $10.4 billion in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost productivity, so it’s easy to see why more employers are offering flu shots to their employees.1

In fact, during the early part of the 2017/2018 flu season, 17% of American adults who received a flu vaccine did so at a place of employment.1 This made workplaces the third most common flu vaccination site, behind medical facilities (like doctors’ offices) and retail locations (like commercial pharmacies).

But, there are some rules of the road to follow when planning for worksite flu shot events. Here are our top 6 best practices for offering flu shots to your employees.

  1.  Select an optimal event date: Third and fourth quarters can be packed with initiatives like open enrollment, budget planning, and holiday events. When selecting a date for a workplace flu shot program that the clinic does not conflict with other events at the location.
  2. Communicate effectively: Get the word out about your event in multiple ways: send emails, hang up posters, etc. Additionally, be sure that your communications are concise. Within each communication, only include 1 call-to-action (ie, ”Scheduling a Flu Shot Appointment").
  3. Don’t combine flu and biometric screening events: Hosting standalone workplace flu shot clinic improves participants’ experiences. Flu shots and biometric screenings are managed separately, and have separate staffing. Holding them at the same event can be disjointed and lead to participant confusion, especially if participants cannot secure adjacent timeslots for their flu shot and screening. Additionally, holding flu shot and wellness screening events on separate days allows you to communicate about each event individually, and give both of these important wellness initiatives the full attention they deserve.
  4. Make scheduling easy: Allowing participants to sign up for a time slot online or over the phone can help boost participation and allows participants to schedule their appointment at a time that fits their schedule. Online and telephonic scheduling also reduces the need for paperwork at flu shot events, making the event run more efficiently.
  5. Supplement with vouchers for local retailers: Not every employee will be able to attend an on-site flu shot event. Supplementing your flu shot offering with vouchers for flu shots at local retailers enhances the benefit and allows all employees to participate.
  6. Consider implementing flu shot incentives to motivate employees: Incentives can be a great motivator to increase vaccination rates in your population. Incentives can vary from gift cards to a complimentary lunch to discounts on insurance premiums. Consult your legal and compliance departmentments to see what incentives you are able to make available to employees. 

Begin planning your on-site flu shot events today.

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1. “National Early-Season Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, November 2017.” Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Accessed 30 May 2018.