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Help your workers avoid flu in the age of COVID-19

At this time your workers are probably focused on the impact COVID-19 is having on their everyday lives. But the seasonal flu remains a major threat, and the combination of these two highly contagious viral illnesses can be deadly.

These illnesses can also have a big impact on the workplace, in terms of both absenteeism and presenteeism (when people are less effective because they return to work before they’ve fully recovered).1,2

Here are eight ways your organisation can fight flu and flu-related stressors, absenteeism and presenteeism.3

1.       Communicate FAQs, policy cover and benefits clearly — to clear up confusion and allay workers’ worries. Common questions: How do I get vaccinated? Have I got COVID-19 or have I got flu? Where do I go for help/information? Have I got access to virtual health care? How can I find an in-network clinic or hospital so I can get vaccinated? Who can I contact at work if I have questions about my benefits and cover? Eligible members can call vHealth if they need advice or are concerned they have flu.

2.       Provide employee benefits that cover seasonal vaccines. And be sure workers are aware of the well-being benefits they have available to them and where to find them.

3.       Host an onsite vaccination clinic — or offer vouchers or a reimbursement scheme that remote workers can use locally. Make getting vaccinated as painless as possible (arm jabs notwithstanding). Set a vaccination goal — 80 per cent is a good place to start — and celebrate progress.

4.       Make staying healthy easier. During flu season, ensure that office-based workers have ready access to hand sanitiser and tissues. For those working from home as well as those in the office, share healthy habits and hygiene tips.

5.       Encourage sick employees to go home — and to stay home and rest until at least 24 hours after their fever has broken. Also be sure employees are aware of your organisation’s sick-leave policy to help avoid ‘sick-day stigma’.

6.       Encourage employees to use their annual leave entitlement — to keep themselves physically and mentally rested and healthy.

7.       Lead by example. When an organisation’s leaders are the first to line up for flu shots and the last to come into the office while sick, rank-and-file employees are more likely to do the right thing as well.

8.       Educate your employees. Use employee newsletters, worksite screens, bulletin boards and other channels to highlight the importance of vaccinations and other wellness measures. Search ‘Aetna remote working and social distancing COVID-19 resources’ for flyers and posters from Aetna International that you can share with your employees.

Fighting flu is more important than ever this season, as COVID-19 puts strains on health care systems and businesses around the world. You can make a difference in keeping your employees and their loved ones healthy, and Aetna International is here to help. We offer EAP services, health and wellness benefits, such as Aetna Well-being and vHealth*, and healthy behaviour and lifestyle coaching. As an Members can call us using the number on the back of the member ID card. Download the vHealth by Aetna app**. Log in to the Health Hub to find out more about vHealth*, to contact the Aetna CARE team to ask health care questions or to search our directory of in-network hospitals or clinics. In Dubai? Download and log in to the vHealth (Dubai) app, contact the free toll  number on 8000 35704672 or email support@vhealth.co.ae**. In Thailand? Download the vHealth (Thailand) app**. Contact your account manager or one of our sales experts for more information.

Be a flu fighter. Protect yourself, protect others.

Speak to one of our experts about how we can help you support your international employees.

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You have been redirected to an Aetna International site. InterGlobal is now part of Aetna, one of the largest and most innovative providers of international medical insurance. We have combined our businesses to create one market-leading health care benefits company. This means we can better serve people who depend on Aetna International and InterGlobal to meet their health and wellness needs.

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