Flu Shots Will Save Money in the Longrun

There is nothing good about influenza. People who have experienced a bout with the flu know that it is a miserable experience that brings fever, chills and muscle pain, among other symptoms. You will know when you have a bad case of the flu when you feel like you have been hit by a truck, but you are not lying in the middle of the road.

Flu season is now upon us. That means that, at least in the United States, a lot of money is being lost as a result of the spread of the flu. Worker productivity is down as workers stay home because of sickness or to care for sick dependents, or just show up for work sick (spreading the flu to their co-workers). People have to spend money on visits to the doctor and on medicine.

Of course, this year we also have to contend with the H1N1 flu virus, more commonly known as Swine Flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the H1N1 virus was first detected in the United States in April, 2009. By early June, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared a global Swine Flu pandemic.

There are a lot of steps that we can take in an effort to protect ourselves and those around us from contracting any type of flu virus. This year, there will actually be two “flu shots” available. The first is already being offered by doctors and pharmacies and will help to protect people from contracting the various flu viruses, other than the H1N1 virus, that experts believe will be prevalent this year. In about a month, the medical community also expects an inoculation for the H1N1 virus to be available.

Flu shots typically cost $20 to $25 and we should all take the time to get both shots this year, both to protect ourselves and to protect the people who we might infect. Here are some other preventive steps that we should all be taking:

Proper Hygiene: Wash your hands with hot, soapy water often throughout the day, especially after sneezing or coughing. Also, it is best to carry an alcohol-based water-less hand cleaner so that you can clean your hands when a sink is not available. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, make sure you promptly and properly dispose of it. In addition, try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth so that you can limit the transmission of the virus inside your body.

Stay Home if You are Sick: If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay home until you have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours. Of course, if you or your child develop extreme symptoms such as those described on the CDC website you should seek emergency medical care.

By observing proper hygiene habits and doing your best not to infect other people, we can get through this flu season causing a minimum disruption to our economy, and that should be good for all of us in the long run. If you do get the flu, you will miss work and you will feel miserable, so the best way to avoid that possible loss of income and the certain misery that you will experience is to take as many preventive steps as possible, starting with your flu shot. Getting the flu is going to cost you money, time and pain so the only way to avoid those costs is to be smart now, and perhaps to stock up on over the counter medicines while they are on sale. You may not need them, but it will be better to have them ready in case you do.

What do you think? How will you avoid the flu this year? Do you get a flu shot or do you just trust to luck? If you do get the flu, will your employer still pay you on your sick days? What do you think a week of convalescence from the flu will cost you and how are you planning for those costs?

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12 Responses to Flu Shots Will Save Money in the Longrun

  1. Most employers won’t pay you when you’re sick, we all should get the flu shot. Hygiene and staying out of crowds makes sense.

  2. rob62521 says:

    My husband and I get a flu shot every yet and we feel it is beneficial to us, not only by not missing work, but also because we aren’t sick for days with that awful achiness and fever and other unmentionable symptoms.

  3. spicoli says:

    This year, I’ll be getting two flu shots. I already got a shot for the regular flu and I’ll get an H1NI shot (or mist, or whatever) as soon as they become available.

  4. persephone says:

    I get a shot every year and I make my kids get them, too. I try to get my husband to get a shot as well, but he always refuses. I think it is a bit selfish on his part but he does not see it that way.

  5. Bobby says:

    Yes, I’ll be getting the swine flu shot. There’s no downside to this. Everything I’ve read pounds home the importance of washing your hands frequently. I carry a small bottle of alcohol gel im my car as well.

  6. Monkey Mama says:

    No, I don’t get flu shots. I am not elderly, young, or sick. Though more and more, flu shots are targeted to healthy adults, there is also more and more discussion about flu shots don’t really help.

    I used to take the flu shot when I worked with children, but I can’t say I Was any less sick. Do people really think one flu shot (usually targeting one strain of flu) will keep them healthy all year? I have kids. They expose us to hundreds of viruses every year.

    Being sick does suck, but I get paid sick days, and being sick for a week wouldn’t particularly cost my family anything. But even if it was costly, I can’t say anyone in my family would get a flu shot. Simply because we don’t believe the flu shot is worth it. I have gotten sick from the flu shots in the past. There is certainly downside. But not a lot of upside, in my opinion.

  7. whitestripe says:

    I had heard that each years flu shot is only for the flu’s that went around the previous year. If you get a flu shot it doesn’t neccesarily mean you will NOT get the flu.

  8. carla says:

    actually, the flu shot covers more than one strain … I am told by my daughters Infectious disease specialist that the CDC studies the different strains that were present from the past season and make the vaccine. I suppose it is all a guessing game but for the most part it seems to work well for us. Our entire family receives it to protect my youngest daughter.

  9. Annie Jones says:

    I have already had my regular flu shot for this year. I plan to get the H1N1 shot, too, if it’s available, although talk now is that a lot less of it will be available than planned.

    I have taken a flu shot for each of the past 6 years and have been sick less often than in the years when I didn’t take it.

    I am a stay-at-home wife and grandma, so this is less about lost wages than it is about staying well. If I’m ill, our household practically quits functioning.

  10. Ann says:

    I won’t be getting any flu shots.

    I became frightened of immunizations when I had to be immunized for typhoid and paratyphoid and I came down with typhoid! The reaction was so bad that my doctor broke the rules and only gave me a half dose of the paratyphoid (to start) and the same thing happened with that. He then tried a quarter dose of the paratyphoid and… you guessed it!

    I tend to stay pretty healthy most of the time and do wash my hands regularly. Rather take my chances with the “real” thing.

  11. minny says:

    In the UK high street chemists and many supermarkets give ‘flu jabs for $15 –

  12. tell never says:

    What are you trying to say.

    Look at this parallel opinion:

    You probably wont know which kind you have. Very few people will get the specialized testing to tell. That doesnt matter – treatments the same for both.

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