I have been a building and grounds worker for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 14 years and one of the most common issues I deal with is germs. Although LAUSD does not make it mandatory for its B&G workers or school plant managers to take a flu shot, because it’s a personal choice, I will tell you why vaccines are important and why I recommend everyone should take them.
No matter where you go, germs are everywhere. For example, if you work in a location such as a hospital, school, restaurant or supermarket, you deal with germs that can cause a bad cold and lead to influenza. In addition, you can find germs on door knobs, shopping cart handles and in public restrooms. Think about the amount of people that visit grocery stores and public restrooms on a daily basis. Not only are they touching all the same objects that you will eventually touch, but it is impossible to know what kind of bacteria others may potentially be spreading. This is why getting a flu shot is important, to reduce your chances of getting sick due to bacteria.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million sick days are taken each year due to the common cold alone. This figure comes from the NSF International website (National Sanitation Federation) that explains in detail how dangerous germs can be.
As a building and grounds worker, good sanitation is important to kill germs. When you work around children like I do, getting a flu shot is important because kids sneeze and spread dirt and snot that can get on doors or sinks, where kids frequently wash their hands.
To be fair and balanced on this topic, getting a flu shot does not one hundred percent guarantee that you will not get sick, but it does reduce your chances of contracting the rhinovirus.
Keep in mind that the flu shot is not for everyone. If you are scared of injections, the flu-mist is a nasal spray alternative that does not require a needle. According to the Facey Medical Group questionnaire forms, women who are pregnant or anyone who is allergic to eggs or has bad allergies are ineligible to have a flu shot.