Just as the school season starts in September, flu season starts for all Albertans in October. And, just to clarify, when I say “flu” in this blog, I mean the nasty influenza virus—the respiratory infection that can knock you out for the count. Unfortunately, school environments are a setting where influenza is quickly spread due to the virus’ ability to be passed along to others through droplets in the air, as well as from hands to other shared surfaces.
While there are many effective and important flu prevention tactics we all should use such as covering our coughs and washing our hands, let’s take a moment to be honest with each other about our limitations. I know that even as a nurse (read = very “particular” about flu prevention), I would probably not get a gold star in prevention for every day that I am sick. But don’t judge, I’m sick after all—a sad ball of influenza misery.
And even if as adults we have perfect influenza prevention days now and then, we all know that helping young ones remember to wash their hands before they rub their eyes or have a snack can begin to feel like a herculean task at best! Put this all together into an educational setting and, as we all know, the flu runs rampant, decreasing both student and employee attendance, not to mention our ability to learn and work even when still at school.
If you’re screaming “IT’S AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION!” to your screen right now I apologize. Sorry for the doom and gloom, but of course it’s not all bad news! Getting the influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, others in your home and your workplace. That said, sometimes the task of just finding a place to get the vaccine is so far down the list you need a telescope to see it. I get that.
But fear not, wellness superhero, help is at hand! Whether you’re looking for help in educating your coworkers about influenza, or want to set up or find an immunization clinic, here are a few helpful tips to get your very own Influenza Fight Club off the ground:
- For your influenza education campaign, check out the following sites:
- If you would like to set up an immunization clinic in your workplace, think about the following:
- Alberta Health Services has an easy link for Calgary and Edmonton workplaces: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza.asp (under Employers- Immunization Information)
- Consider partnerships with your local pharmacy or other onsite vaccination providers.
- If you’re looking for more information for your coworkers, family or yourself, these might help:
- ASEBP Influenza Vaccine Info Sheet
- Alberta Health Services Local Flu Immunization Clinic Schedule for 2015/2016
- Pharmacies offering Influenza vaccines
- Common Questions about Influenza
For those who’ve already skipped through a successful influenza campaign in your workplace—why was it awesome? What did you do that was different? Share your experiences with The Sandbox community—inquiring minds want to know!