Occupational Health Watch: November 2021
Protect Workers from Influenza and COVID-19
Getting a flu vaccine is an easy step to protect workers, their families, and their community. While flu vaccination is always important, this season getting vaccinated against both flu and COVID-19 is even more important since workers may get exposed to flu and COVID-19.
Employers are encouraged to promote flu vaccination for workers who have not yet gotten their annual flu shot.
It's not too late! (PDF) Flu usually peaks between December and February, but it can spread as late as May. Flu vaccination will help lower the burden on the health care system by decreasing flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. Influenza and COVID-19 share many symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, muscle pain). Preventing influenza means fewer workers will need to miss work or seek medical care and testing.
Some workers, especially those over the age of 50 and/or with underlying medical conditions, are at higher risk for serious complications from both flu and COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. The best way to stay healthy is by getting both shots. Workers can get both at the same visit. Those who have already gotten a COVID-19 vaccine should still get a yearly flu vaccine.
For certain workers who have completed their initial vaccination series, a COVID-19 booster is now available. Those with certain
medical conditions are also eligible for a booster dose. Groups eligible for the COVID-19
vaccine booster include older workers (65+) and individuals ages 18-64 who work or live in high-risk settings, such as:
- First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
- Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Corrections workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
Ideas for Employers
employer-sponsored vaccination clinics
- Offer flexible schedules to allow employees time to get the vaccines
COVID-19 vaccinator locator resources to employees (if unable to offer onsite)
Promote vaccination through social media and other employer-based communications. Let workers know that flu and COVID-19 shots are safe and effective.
Updated Tools for Workers
Looking for colorful, engaging
work-related graphics? Try ours. Download and add them to your website or share on social media!
Many of our tools have now been updated!
Email OHW@cdph.ca.gov with feedback about this update or change of address.