Flu Shots Can Save Employers Time, Money: Study

August 23, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Companies can easily steer clear of the $400 per employee cost in lost work and medical expenses they usually have to bear from flu-ridden workers by giving flu shots to as many employees as possible, a new study said.

The study for the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the $10.41 cost per shot was well worth the expense for employers, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. After all, according to the study, the employee who snags the flu bug misses nearly three work days, each day accounting for $142.10 in lost wages.

Many companies opt for vaccination days, when employees can receive a flu shot for a nominal fee. But for those companies that haven’t extended their arms for a flu shot, officials said it’s time to realize the benefits.

Each year, the flu affects 10% to 20% of the US population with flu season stretching between December and February. Federal officials recommend that the first round of shots go to elderly people, pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, and those with chronic illnesses.

Most pharmacies and doctors’ offices offer vaccinations. The cost tends to vary, with vaccines ranging between $5 and $20. But in almost all scenarios, vaccination proved to have a higher net benefit than non-vaccination, the study said.

But it’s not only adults who can benefit from the flu vaccine. Children should also receive vaccinations.

The costs associated with Tylenol and other drugs to keep aches under control can add up. For that reason, a flu vaccine can eliminate an extra trip to the drug store, the Daily News story said.