By Victor Sone, Manager, Corporate Pharmacy Program, EmblemHealth
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the influenza virus causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every season. It’s so important to get vaccinated in order to prevent you from contracting the virus and to protect those around you. Vaccinations can reduce visits to the doctor, flu illnesses, missed work and school, and prevent hospitalizations.
In a recent study, the CDC reported that the annual cost for influenza-related hospitalizations, doctors’ office visits and medications, is nearly $4.6 billion dollars in the United States. Additionally, approximately 1.1 million workdays are lost due to the virus, at an estimated $7 billion per year in sick days and lost employee productivity.
EmblemHealth plays a very important and active role in preventive care. We have a unique pharmacy delivery system as our pharmacies are co-located with AdvantageCare Physicians (ACP) offices throughout New York City and Long Island. This year, EmblemHealth put in motion various initiatives that helped the men and women who serve New York City get vaccinated. We met our members where they are, and set up vaccine stations at various work sites and ACP offices. This year, more than 8,000 flu shots were administered, a nearly 300 percent increase over 2014.
Another component to the 2015 flu campaign was our employee flu immunization program. Along with support from our pharmacies, the employee health and wellness department provided all employees a free and convenient way to obtain their seasonal flu shot — right at work. This year, we implemented a creative and innovative approach that included utilizing pharmacists and EmblemHealth nurses to administer the shots.
The organization is proud of the tremendous success achieved by the 2015 flu immunization team. We’re all so impressed to see that many people take the necessary steps to stay healthy, get well and live better.
To learn more about our pharmacies — and to find a location near you — visit emblemhealth.com.